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Wavemaker launches South entertainment outpost for brands

A specialised unit in collaboration with One Mercuri to focus on South cinema, streaming content,

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Mumbai: Wavemaker India has unveiled a specialised unit in collaboration with One Mercuri which will focus on helping brands leverage the entertainment and content businesses in South India. The unit will open up a whole new world of collaborations and opportunities for brands and creators.

The unit will be based out of Wavemaker’s Bangalore office and led by Anilkumar Sathiraju under the leadership of Karthik Nagarajan.

This is an effort to help corporatise the business of South entertainment, by way of providing brands structured access to entertainment content from the south, right at the conception stage. It will deliver on creating original content IPs, enabling better brand associations in films and OTT content (audio & video), bringing in an era of measurement and collaborations with writer rooms, among other things. The partnership will be a catalyst in developing the symbiotic relationship between brands and the South entertainment industry – one that has under-delivered so far.  

“We have always focussed on paving newer ways to provide innovative solutions to our clients and partners. Creativity, content and collaboration are the three pillars of this newly launched specialised unit," said Wavemaker South Asia CEO Ajay Gupte. "We see huge potential in content, partnerships, digital content and content creators / influencers in the next few years. With this unit, our aim is to create a new wave in the entertainment and business space.”

Southern entertainment industry releases more than 900 films in a year. While Bollywood witnessed a tepid response to the reopening of cinema halls, for example, the Southern films and entertainment industry has led the way. The same is also true in terms of original content creation during the pandemic.

"The South entertainment industry has always held a great promise for national brands but it is also true that historically this promise has never been realised," said Wavemaker India chief content officer Karthik Nagarajan. "There are probably two key reasons for this –  the cultural understanding of the South is scarce among national brands and – the entertainment industry here is also more independent in nature compared to Bollywood, which makes tie-ups a bit more challenging. This outpost is an attempt to overcome both these challenges and make brands a significant stakeholder in both South films and streaming content."

"In One Mercuri, we not only have a trusted partner to the entertainment industry but also one with a strong understanding of brands," he further said.

This first of its kind specialised unit will help create original content IPs on audio and video OTT channels, bring some of the legends in the industry into the digital content-verse and also bring in brand investments into film and streaming content. Wavemaker with its proven track record in content marketing will leverage its expertise in IP creation, audience understanding, measurement and culture scoping for the partnership.

“A resurgence of quality content from the region which is home to the four thriving film industries besides a large entertainment-hungry viewership, a larger than life fan following base seen nowhere in the world and the content coming out from this region fast attracting global interests and gaining prominence on pan India scale," commented One Mercuri MD and group CEO Sriram Bakthisaran. 

"With our already significant presence in the south market having serviced some of the biggest production houses and the celebrities in the past, we feel we are better placed to expand our offerings than before as we jointly venture out to feed all stakeholders including the consumer, the production houses as well as the brands. As Wavemaker has all the experience and know-how with their global exposure, I am very confident that this collaboration will only elevate the industry and set standards for several to follow and benefit," Bakthisaran added

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