Sania Mirza gets set to ‘bond’ on Sony Pix

MUMBAI:  ‘The name is Bond, James Bond’ is one of Hollywood’s most iconic dialogues, and so has been the Bond franchise. Not surprisingly, it has collected $ 4.1 billion at the box office and still counting. And while the property has been showcased time and again on English movie channels, Sony Pix has taken a step ahead and roped in tennis player Sania Mirza, who launched the franchise as a trainer for the channel’s Pix School of BONDing.

Explaining the initiative to showcase the 50 year old property, Sony Pix and AXN EVP and business head Saurabh Yagnik says that in order to sustain Bond’s relevance the channel wanted to create a disruptive and differentiated viewer proposition. “While Bond is synonymous with gadgets, gizmos and girls, these three are transient and keep changing throughout the movies. But the most consistent part is the evergreen Bond attitude. We, therefore, decided to come up with a campaign that would be able to grab attention,” he adds. The campaign is primarily targeted towards the younger audiences.

The channel deliberated for three months before conceptualising the campaign and roped in Mirza for her iconic personality, her resonance with young audiences and the fact that she is a self confessed die-hard James Bond fan.

It wanted to portray Bond’s attitude and desirability through the eyes of a woman. As a trainer at the Pix School, Mirza will be seen giving tips on how men should woo their way to a woman’s heart. Starting on 22 November, the 23 Bond titles will be shown for the next 12 weeks (three months) every Saturday at 7 pm and 9 pm. The tennis ace will be providing nine to 12 lessons, each of one to two minute duration. These capsules will be showcased during the telecast of the movies.

To promote the campaign, three TV promos have been shot at the Filmistan Studio by an in-house team. These are being promoted on all channels of the MSM network. Short snippets like The 23 Bond Villains of All Time and 23 Best Bond Cars of all Time have also been created. Bond memes are being circulated on WhatsApp. A six-city print campaign has been launched where publications are running contests wherein winners will be able to meet Mirza in person. 

Pix marketing vice president Neville Bastawalla talking about the marketing campaign says, “This is the biggest ever campaign done in the English category. We currently have a 12 per cent engagement rate on social media versus our nearest rival which has a five per cent engagement rate. We, therefore, through digital contests and the live chats wanted to leverage our fans with that of Mirza’s.”

Pix has 47.9k followers on Twitter while Mirza has 2.13 million. On Facebook Mirza’s official page currently has 7,698,051 likes while Pix has 2,155,451.

Micromax has come on board as the presenting sponsor. Maruti Suzuki Alto K10 is the powered by sponsor while the associate sponsors are Quikr, Titan Skinn,, Nutrilite by Amway and Crizal by Essilor.

Yagnik says that with the campaign he expects a jump of 20 to 30 per cent in viewership for the channel, which has seen a growth of 25 per cent in the category for this year, so far.

The 23 Bond films that will be showcased are Dr No, From Russia With Love, Goldfinger, Thunderball, You Only Live Twice, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, Diamonds are Forever, Live and Let Die, The Man with the Golden Gun,The Spy who Loved Me, Moonraker, For Your Eyes Only, Octopussy, AView To A Kill, The Living Daylights, License to Kill, Goldeneye, Tomorrow Never Dies, The World Is Not Enough, Die Another Day, Casino Royale, Quantum of Solace and Skyfall.

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