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&pictures' marketing plans include crowd-sourced film 'The never &ing movie'

More such interactive initiatives have been lined up keeping in mind the channel’s promise to be India's first 'active' movie channel. The channel goes on air on August 18, 2013

Sohini Sen | Mumbai | August 7, 2013

Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd (ZEEL) is all set to launch its new premium and interactive Hindi movie channel, '&pictures', this month. The channel will officially go on air on August 18, 2013. What sets it apart from the other dozen Hindi movie channels is the target audience.

ZEEL Chief Content & Creative Officer, Bharat Ranga, explained, "We have noticed an emerging mindset in our viewers. This mindset is reflected by the movies they now prefer to watch as well as the movies which filmmakers are making now. We at ZEEL realised that we can cater to them and touch them at the very beginning of the change. They are the target audience."

(L-R) Akash Chawla, Bharat Kumar Ranga, Ruchir Tiwari
Click on the image to know more.

The channel will also be an interactive Hindi movie channel. For the same reason their first marketing campaign has been a crowd-sourced film – done by an entertainment brand for the first time in India. People can log on to Twitter, Facebook or the channel’s micro-site (andpictures.in) and write a story, taking it from wherever the last contributor has left it at. The best ideas will then be aggregated onto the micro-site where users can view how the story is progressing while watching the entries being sent in real time. The final product would then be produced within the next three days and uploaded on YouTube. Named 'The never &ing movie', the duration of the movie depends on the entries submitted which are being invited till August 8, 2013.

"The first communications started with really small ad commercials. We are also excited about the crowd-sourced movie. If you look at the entire month, we will be very big in the theatre since we have bought the satellite rights for a lot of big names including Chennai Express. The campaign breaks in the next 3-4 days," pointed out Akash Chawla, Marketing Head (National Channels), ZEEL.

More such interactive things would be done in the future, keeping in mind the channel’s promise to be India's first 'active' movie channel. ZEEL is expected to shortly announce a product launch in the digital space as well.

The channel is being pitched as the movie channel for those 'who want to grow high and yet be rooted to their realities'. Speaking about the symbol ‘&’ and the logo, Ranga said, “The ampersand sign in ‘&pictures’ signifies ‘Udaan’ (flight) and ‘Neev’ (rooted) and celebrates the duality of contemporary Indians. The ampersand in the logo merges seamlessly with the ‘p’ of pictures and connotes the ease with which today’s viewer blends his ambition to soar high while remaining rooted to his sacrosanct values. The colour red similarly radiates his bold ambition as well as the richness of his traditions.”

The channel which will be available through all pay TV packages across the country already has bought the premiering rights for movies such as Chennai Express, Zanjeer, Besharam, Ghanchakkar, Commando and Aatma. Most of the movies shown in the channel (approx 90 per cent) would be movies made in the last decade. It includes newer titles such as Kai Po Che, ABCD, Barfi, English Vinglish, Tanu Weds Manu, Love Aaj Kal, Agent Vinod, Agneepath, Desi Boyz, Kambakt Ishq and Break Ke Baad.

&pictures is also stressing on near exclusivity – the movies they show would seldom be repeated on their other channels, including Zee Cinema.

Ruchir Tiwari, Cluster Programming Head (Hindi Movie Channels), ZEEL, said, “Our programming model is designed to disrupt conventional wisdom. &pictures aims at entertaining and celebrating today’s Indian irrespective of their age and is a reflection of how people across different mindsets are evolving. Our content will be specifically designed for the viewers who also have the strong desire and inimitable capacity to conquer the world and yet stay rooted to their culture. Building credibility and trust with our audience is paramount, so naturally we’ll provide a rich schedule right out of the box – and, we’ll do it the ‘&pictures’ way!”

According to Ranga, creating a brand name at this point of time is more important. While he does hope that people would book an appointment for a particular time slot, he wishes that they book an appointment with the platform first. Though the gestation period for movie channels has been five years or longer, '&pictures' is hopeful since they have a dual revenue model – advertisements and subscriptions.

Sohini.Sen@BestMediaInfo.com

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