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Zee TV’s upcoming fiction questions a key societal norm through #ChangeHerNot

The new show Kaleerein will replace Aise Deewangi at 7.30 pm slot on weekdays, starting Monday, February 5. It is a story of a girl from Punjab who chooses to assert her individuality against the reality of bride grooming schools

Vishwa Preet Kaur, Aditi Sharma, Producer Priya Mishra and Nikhil SInha, Arjit Taneja and Zee TV Business Head Deepak Rajadhyaksha

Kaleerein, Zee TV’s new show, is based on the premise of why a girl is expected to forget her personality, like and dislikes and change everything about her in order to fit into a new family. The channel attempts at fighting this key societal norm and has also launched a campaign, #ChangeHerNot, which will run parallel to the show.

Premiering on February 5, 2018, the show will replace Aisi Deewangi to air from Monday to Friday at 7.30 pm. Kaleerien is a story of Meera, a small-town girl from Punjab, who chooses to assert her individuality against the reality of bride grooming schools that are mushrooming all over Punjab; schools that prescribe a bucket-list of must-have qualities for a bride to land the perfect groom. A free-spirited girl who wants to live life on her own terms, Meera values her uniqueness and is in search of a suitor who will accept her for the person she truly is.

Kaleerein is co-produced by Nikhil Sinha and Priya Mishra of Triangle Films. Making her debut as the effervescent Meera will be debutante Aditi Sharma while popular actor Arjit Taneja will be seen as the male protagonist in the show.

Deepak Rajadhyaksha, Deputy Business Head, Zee TV, said, “We started 2018 on a high note with the launch of Aap Ke Aa Jaane Se, a mature, unconventional love story that has been received well by audiences. Keeping the momentum going and upping the ante on entertainment, we are excited to bring our audiences another progressive concept that is in keeping with our brand philosophy Aaj Likhenge Kal. The most basic question our show Kaleerein throws up is – does a woman need to change or acquire specific attributes in order to find a suitable match and enter the institution of marriage? Girls all over the world should not have to change themselves in order to find their perfect match. Through the show, we urge young brides to take charge of their destiny and find a groom of their liking who accepts them for who they are and not for who they are forced to become.”

In a marketing campaign, the channel also joined hands with social activist and actor-producer Gul Panag. Zee TV launched the #ChangeHerNot social media experiment through a specially designed website www.MySoniKudi.com.

Designed by Zee TV’s digital agency, Big Trunk, MySoniKudi.com gave grooms the option of choosing from gharelu brides, fair-skinned beauties, cooking champions and many more unfortunate, stereotypical moulds that the society has created over the years. With the objective of highlighting the sheer absurdity of this stark reality and to nudge the audience to question these age-old shackles, the matrimonial website was introduced on social media by vocal supporter Gul Panag who criticised the portal for commoditising brides. While it was disappointing to see the website receiving thousands of registrations from serious prospective grooms within a matter of hours, the social media experiment was truly a success when an exponentially higher volume of noise erupted on Twitter with people crying out in unison against slotting brides into categories and expecting them to change themselves for the sake of marriage.

As the true intent of the website and the #ChangeHerNot campaign was revealed, the overwhelming support from all quarters reflects that Indians are no longer willing to adhere to societal shackles but want to rewrite them to take control of their own destinies.

Rajadhyaksha said, “While the website isn’t real, the issue is. It is sad that to be marriageable, a woman has to be a certain way. We wanted people to experience the starkness of this harsh reality through MySoniKudi.com and have the nation stand up in unison and say #ChangeHerNot.”   

Along with the #ChangeHerNot campaign, Zee TV has planned a series of ATL and BTL activations to create awareness about the unfair expectations that one has from a prospective bride, and highlight the concept of Kaleerein amongst the relevant target audiences.

Co-producer Mishra said, “Kaleerein, through its light-hearted narrative, analyses societal pressures put on women to change themselves in order to bag the perfect groom. The show will showcase Meera’s approach to various situations from a very different lens and how she handles the pressures put on her to get married. We have consciously named the show Kaleerein because it signifies good wishes and a happy beginning for a bride and not a ploy to rob her of her identity. This show is our first outing with Zee TV and we are looking forward to a great start to our association.”

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