&Pictures gifts fans ‘Dil Se’

MUMBAI: For a country which loves its movies, there are many options to choose from. So when Zeel launched &pictures - Sapnon ki Udaan – in the Hindi movie space it promised to be different from the rest.


Keeping the promise, the channel acquired movies, which would cater to the new mindsets, and took it to next-level through its various interactive programming. Who would have thought Chale Chalo, a documentary film, based on the making of Aamir Khan’s Oscar nominated movie Lagaan, would become a talking-point even before it was aired on the channel. The buzz created on the social media and the chance to speak to the actor through live dial-ins achieved unbelievable ratings.


Now to up its ante after completing one successful year, the channel has come up with delightful surprise for its fans – ‘Dil Se.’ The new digital innovation will help bridge the gap between the Bollywood stars and their fans. Created by YouToo Technologies, first for the Zee TV viewers in North America in 2012 to help connect with each other, the creator has tweaked the video service a little for the movie buffs here.


Expanding on the idea, Zee TV Americas marketing head Vibha Chopra says that in a large country like the USA, families  which couldn’t meet too often loved the idea of ‘Dil Se’ when Zee gave them an opportunity to send in small video chats. “It helped us to increase our viewership base as people loved the idea of seeing their loved ones on television. We have got more than 50,000 videos so far and a two to three minute spike in time spent.”


“We are a movie channel and what would be better than to enhance the engagement level between audiences and the stars or movies they admire so much,” says Zeel chief content and creative officer Bharat Kumar Ranga while adding that through these 15 second videos the channel wants the viewers to share their message from the heart.


The 15 second video will have to go through censors before being aired on the channel. Since, its TG lies in the Hindi speaking markets (HSM), the channel isn’t worried about language barriers. “It will be mostly Hindi but when a fan says something from within his/her heart, it doesn’t need a language to express his/her feeling,” says Zeel Hindi movie channels deputy business head Ruchir Tiwari.


And to market the new section, the channel will take the digital route. Since it wants people who are always online and comfortable with the digital world, ample amount of the marketing spend will be on social media apart from the regular in-channel promotions.


In the past one year, the movie channel has been able to distinguish between itself and its sister channel, let alone competition. Stating the example of Ghanchakkar, Ranga says that he had never allowed a Imran Hashmi film on Zee but the channel acquired the Hashmi and Vidya Balan starrer. “For a traditional masala movie, we have Zee Cinema and for the viewers with progressive attitude but still rooted there is &Pictures.”


Another feather to its cap was the launch of the HD version of &Pictures which will have a completely different FTP than the SD version! The channel aims to target the very core of its target audience of &Pictures. “Even within a TG, one can see fragmentations. Through the HD channel we want to cater to the core TG and not the scattered movie buffs who surf through various channels,” says Ranga.

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