Zindagi forays into original non-fiction programming with ‘Shukriya’

MUMBAI: Hindi general entertainment channel (GEC) from the Zee Entertainment Enterprises Limited (Zeel) stable, Zindagi has forayed into a new territory. The channel, which was launched in 2014 with shows from Pakistan, is now gearing up to launch its first original non-fiction show. Titled Shukriya, this reality show has been produced by Frames Production.


This, according to the channel, is just the beginning, as it plans to launch a number of original shows in this quarter. Refusing to spell out the genre of the original shows in the pipeline, Zindagi and FTA cluster business head Priyanka Datta said, “The fact that we air finite shows gives us the opportunity to create more content and churn out more original programming.”


The new show Shukriya, which premieres on Sunday, 9 August at 8 pm, is a 13 episode series, which is designed to urge people to pause life, reflect and acknowledge the good things life has given.


“Given the format of the channel, it was clear that when we got onto creating original programming, it had to be something which built an emotional connect with the audience,” opined Zeel chief business officer Sunil Buch. 


With original content in its programming mix now, the channel will however continue to air shows from Pakistan. “Pakistan has a legacy of great content and we have a huge library of shows from the country. Considering the cultural overlap, it was but natural for us to get shows from Pakistan when we launched with the theme of ‘Jodey Dilon Ko.’ We want to give our viewer varied content experience and so we decided to launch original content, this doesn’t mean we will discontinue those shows,” said Buch. 


Shukriya, according to Datta, as a concept marries well with the brand philosophy of ‘Jodey Dilon Ko.’ 


Anchored by Gunjan Utreja, this reality programme will give people a platform to exhibit their real emotions and in turn give those they want to thank a memory that will last a lifetime. The show will travel to several cities including Delhi, Mumbai and parts of North India. “All 13 episodes of the first season have been canned. We will come up with multiple seasons of Shukriya,” informed Datta. 


Promotional strategy for Shukriya 


The channel's new concept has been backed by some unique promotional strategies. “Every communication highlights not just the real emotions, but also embodies the spirit of Shukriya,” said Datta.


According to her, the real hero is the concept of the show. “We have ensured that this stands out in all the promotional activities, be it in print, radio, outdoor or digital. The aim is to create an element of surprise that will inspire people to do the same,” she added.


Creative communication has been given a new age approach that drives interactivity. The identity of the campaign was centered around #Shukriya. Three short promos have been created and seeded across platforms like Facebook, Youtube and all digital platforms of Zindagi.


“The first two videos have already created a social surround driving close to 7.9 lakh views and counting,” she informed.


The channel has also associated itself with e-commerce player Snapdeal for a dedicated Shukriya Store on its website and app. “This initiative is in association with friendship day, where Zindagi and Snapdeal give netizens discounted offers to buy special Shukriya gifts for loved ones,” said Datta.


Additionally, Zindagi in association with Big FM created unique Shukriya experience for their listeners where RJs were heard saying Shukriya to local unsung heroes across its 24 stations. 


“We have taken this ahead on Zindagi by creating a special section called ‘Keh Do Shukriya’ wherein Gunjan and RJ Siddharth will narrate some real life stories that have reached to us through Big FM,” she said.


With ordinary people being a part of the show, the channel will also visit close to 50 housing colonies in Delhi to celebrate Shukriya day with residents. 


Multiplex viewers have also been targeted across more than 400 screens for three weeks with blockbusters like Bajrangi Bhaijaan, Drishyam and Mission Impossible 5.


“This is alongside high impact print and TV campaigns including leveraging the platforms of our sister concern ZMCL to drive tune-ins in our key markets,” concluded Datta.

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