Ek Tha Raja Ek Thi Rani opts for multipronged marketing strategy

As Jodha Akbar is all set to bid good bye to audiences on August 7th, Zee TV would premiere a new magnum opus period drama Ek Tha Raja Ek Thi Rani on 27th July at 9.30 PM slot.

Set in the 1940s, the show is being touted as one of the grandest shows on Indian television so far. And if the promos are anything to go by, it seems to be one. Though, set in the backdrop of a royal family, it is not a historical play – giving it the creative licence for exploring a much larger spectrum, and thus holding the audience attention for a longer time. Pradeep Hejmadi, Business Head, Zee TV says, “It depends upon how you pitch for it. It is not being pitched like a historical, it has a different promise altogether - and that is where it will resonate.”

Interestingly, when asked to draw comparison with another period drama which had similar universal appeal, Hejmadi surprises by drawing parallels with Buniyaad, “This kind of show with an intriguing storyline, authentic settings and constituents has never been seen. The last popular one that comes to mind is Buniyaad.”

However, he believes that Ek Tha Raja Ek Thi Rani would resonate with the audiences even more than Buniyaad did. Says he, “Buniyaad was not a multi flavored show while this has a romantic under layer, as well as a mystery and social under layer. It has the power to engage a very broad audience.”

Speaking of viewer engagement, one wonders if audiences don’t relate more with modern day plays than with a period soap opera.  Hejmadi takes pains to explain that audience engagement goes far beyond relating to it. He says, “With a current drama, people look at relatability. However, with a period drama, people try to explore what was going on at that time. There is a fair degree of escapism that people look for and they also want a bit of time travel feel. It fascinates them if presented right.” He adds, “Besides, the most fascinating period that remains unexplored by Indian television is the pre-Independence era. This vibrant period of India’s history that saw a great upheaval also saw intense drama unfold in the lives of the royalty of the princely states. “

Obviously, Kellogg’s and Kent RO believe so, as they are on board as sponsors. The channel intends to go with one presenting and two main sponsors, as is the usual model.

As for marketing, it has adopted a 360 degree approach. A cross media campaign accompanied by ground activity is being used to give audiences a flavor of the show. Hejmadi says, “We are using multiple touchpoints across the board to reach out to audiences spanning from youth to senior citizens. We are doing radio, television on our network as well as outside our network and of course digital. The show has presence on social media and we are using two hashtags.” As for on ground activity, he explains, “We are doing a lot of interest group marketing in which we are plugging into very different interest groups. We are tapping them on the shoulder and turning them back in time.”

Sphere Origins and Nilanjana Purkayastha, producers of the show are best known for Saraswatichandra and Chanakya respectively.  The pivotal characters of the show are being played by Drashti Dhami (Of Madhubala fame), Siddhant Karnik (Model popularized by Airtel ad campaign) and Anita Raj (well-known movie star of yesteryears).


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