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HindustanTimes Tue,02 Sep 2014

Box full of surprises

Kavita Awaasthi, Hindustan Times  Mumbai, January 21, 2013
First Published: 15:52 IST(21/1/2013) | Last Updated: 15:56 IST(21/1/2013)
Naitik in a glass chamber that’s filling up with water; a mysterious woman with half her face covered with hair; a missing Gauri Bhonsle; and Amitabh Bachchan hiccupping non-stop: engaging promos have become the order of the day, with channels and shows spending a bomb to stand out in an increasingly competitive market.

Clear, clutter-breaking promos are the most impactful. Kaun Banega Crorepati’s promos last year caught everyone’s attention – Amitabh says ‘Aa raha hoon’ while hiccupping. It was simple yet cute and imaginative.

Of course, the focus on promotions started a while back. Remember the launch campaign for Jassi Jaissi Koi Nahi? It was about reactions to her appearance, without revealing her look; followed by those focused on her inner beauty.

But not all promos and surprises work. Sensational and misleading ones even backfire. For instance, Khamoshiyan’s recent promos had a news channel host asking if you have seen the missing Gauri Bhonsle. Sure, the name registered, but the name of the show its launch date got lost. Likewise, years ago, a promo of Saat Phere promised to reveal the “haveli ka raaz”, but the episode that followed never did.

But good or bad, everyone’s spending a ton of money on promos. Most range from Rs. 5 lakh to Rs. 25 lakh. The more expensive ones are for new shows, which requires introduction of characters and setting the tone. Samir Soni’s Parichay had 40 teasers revealing the daily thoughts of the protagonist, while Kairi had 20 promos with taunts between wife and mother-in-law.

Fiction shows are cheaper as they are shot on indoor sets. Reality shows, however, cost a lot more. Each new season needs a makeover or a new theme, the set design changes. So next time there’s a new promo, think about what might have gone into making it.
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