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Market mania galore on Indian telly

Flashy trailers are not enough. Channels are now selling shows through other gimmicks, writes Abrity Basu.

india Updated: May 16, 2006 11:41 IST

This Friday, Prithviraj Chauhan goes on air on Star Plus. The channel has been promoting their latest offering in lavish — maybe even epic — style.

On Tuesday night, a gala fashion show was held in Delhi where actors walked the ramp in costumes from the show.

Road shows were organised earlier in Rajasthan. Welcome to the world of serials where the concept of jo dikhta hai woh bikta hai reigns supreme.

This has given rise to aggressive marketing techniques, similar to those adopted by Bollywood filmmakers.

Top billing It is not just Bollywood actors who stare down at us from billboards and posters.

Small screen stars, too, have found a place on them as almost all telly shows are advertised through hoardings and placards.

Actors are also taken to various cities to promote shows like their Bollywood counterparts.

Their wallpapers, too, are easily available on the Internet. Various contests are also held to increase interaction with viewers.

“It is very important to continue to drive eyeballs to the shows.

A new show requires aggressive marketing,” says Nina Jaipuria, VP marketing, Sony Entertainment Television.

Sony recently promoted their new show Aisa Des Hai Mera by putting stickers on everything from auto rickshaws to multiplex halls’ seats.

Trailer trail Other than TV, trailers are available on the Internet, radio and mobiles, too.

Now one can catch webisodes (i.e. episodes on the web) of serials even before they hit the air.

This trend was started by the Star Plus show Pyaar Ke Do Naam Ek Raadha Ek Shyaam.

Mobisodes or episodes on the mobile of the same show are also available now. As Ajay Vidyasagar, executive VP, marketing, Star India, explains, “The key idea is to use communication, which is in synergy across all the media.”

Music mantra The soundtracks of serials are also being used to sell. They are easily available as music albums — Remix, Jassi Jaissi Koi Nahin, Star Parivaar, are some examples. Title tracks are available as ringtones, too.

Teaser Hit teasers with the ‘coming soon’ tag are now a regular feature. If the Jassi Jaissi Koi Nahin and the Saat Phere campaigns have already been hits, the recent campaign for Twinkle Beauty Parlour, SAB’s new soap, has been generating quite an interest.

“A teaser helps a show stand out. The Kal Ho Na Ho teaser made the film a hit even before the trailers or the film released. That’s the power of teasers,” says Vikas Bahl, business head of SAB.

Money matters When it comes to financial resources the small screen can never compete with the big one.

How do channels, with their limited resources, undertake promotional campaigns akin to Bollywood? “Creativity is the key word. Since we have no Shah Rukh Khan it is up to us to make people notice,” explains Bahl.