Television

Zee hopes for a miracle with 'Neeli Chhatri Wale'

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MUMBAI: From theatre to film and now the small screen, the story of a common man coming face-to-face with God one day has come full circle.

Zee TV's next weekend fiction show 'Neeli Chhatri Wale' is about a man who has the privilege of meeting and befriending God.

Produced by Ashwini Dhir, the show which tells a story of Bhagwan Das played by Yashpal Sharma, will start from 30 August and air on Saturday and Sunday at 8 pm. Bhagwan Das, a middle-aged, middle class man based out of Kanpur is constantly torn between his personal and professional life. One day, a smartly dressed man carrying a blue umbrella emerges, a man who embodies Lord Shiva.

What is noticeable is that the shows, ‘Bh se Bhade’ and ‘Gangs of Hasseepur’ aired on the same slot haven’t done well for the channel. Currently, the channel telecasts special programming and movies on weekends.

“Yes, we agree that earlier shows haven’t worked and ‘Bh se Bhade’ wasn’t a good effort from our side. However, the current programme looks very promising and should be able to catch people’s attention,” says a highly placed source from Zee TV.

The light-hearted drama can be compared to Akshay Kumar – Paresh Rawal starring ‘OMG, Oh My God’ where Kumar essayed the role of Lord Krishna.

The show has already got presenting partner in Karbonn and promos have broken on television along with digital promotion on social media. To create buzz before it launches, the channel sent out cupcakes to journalists as well.

On the marketing front, the channel is leaving no stone unturned to promote exploratory relationship between man and God as friend. Making it a complete family unifier, the marketing word is based on the philosophy that ‘God lies within us’ all we have to do is listen to our inner voice.

The concept of the show is being promoted using a media mix of print, radio and a comprehensive television plan comprising a bouquet of channels spread across genres.

A three phase digital campaign has been planned to engage with its digital audience. The first part of the digital campaign started with #MyInnerVoice which the channel claims was very well received by consumers.

All the marketing initiatives will aim at making God accessible to one and all by spreading the message of ‘Listen to your #InnerVoice'.

Through the series, the channel aims to revamp its weekend slot. However, media planners are a little apprehensive. “Earlier too the slot with fiction shows hasn’t worked well for the channel and with competition showing Yo Yo Honey Singh, it looks like a tough battle to win. Zee should continue to air movies or special programmes,” says a planner.

Having said that, another planner doesn’t want to strike the new show out and feels that movies and plays on the same theme have worked well and if told properly, the series might be able to grab eyeballs.

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