We are pitching Yudh as a film: SET's Seth

The day has come when the legend himself comes to your living rooms, now every day! Amitabh Bachchan may not be new to television, but he’s definitely coming in a new avatar to meet audiences from today. His first attempt to television fiction – Yudh begins today on Sony Entertainment Television at 10.30 pm. The show replaces ‘Bade Achche Lagte hai’ and rides high on innovative and ‘first-of-its-kind’, marketing and promotional activities.

Adgully caught up with Gaurav Seth, Sr. VP and Head – Marketing, SET to know more about the show and its marketing activities.

Yudh starring Amitabh Bachchan in the lead, along with actors like Sarika, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Tigmanshu Dhulia, Kay Kay Menon, Zakir Hussain and others will be a finite series of 20 episodes (5 episodes per week). Speaking on how this short time is double edged sword to attract and detract viewers to the show and the channel, Seth said, “The biggest pull for the show is the cinestar himself, one doesn’t need any more reason to come to Sony Entertainment Television to watch Yudh. This viewer-base we receive, I believe, will be retained and sustained by the story itself. When you have power-house Anurag Kashyap as the man behind the story, you can expect high voltage drama, intense scenes and superlative performance even from the smallest characters of the show. The creative collaboration between Amitabh Bachchan’s Saraswati Productions and Endemol will assure that once a viewer watches the show, he / she is bound to stick around and also bring along some more viewers as well”.

Speaking on how parallels are being drawn to the show with ‘24’, the finite series starring Anil Kapoor (his first attempt on television), Seth stated that one cannot compare any show from the past to Yudh, mainly because the gravity of Amitabh Bachchan is unmatched and the magnitude at which we are promoting it is never seen before. “Mr. Bachchan and entire cast have been supporting all the activities we have planned and he himself is personally involved with every little aspect of the show. While we have ensured to have the right mix of traditional media; we are playing strong on digital. Yudh and Bachchan have around 9 million followers Twitter which is largest in Indian base for any television show and Mr. Bachchan himself has been very active on the twitter handle and promoted the show through trailer-sharing etc”.

The commencement of the marketing initiative started in the capital, where a 50 feet poster was unveiled from the famous Statesman house. The huge poster revealed the first look of the show and set the ball rolling. The cast spearheaded by Mr. Bachchan along with the director, Anurag Kashyap and Shoojit Sircar were present. This event was closely followed with the protagonist listing his company Shanti Constructions in the oldest stock exchange in India – Bombay Stock Exchange. The trading at the stock exchange started when the effervescent star rang the opening bell at the Bombay Stock Exchange on 17th June 2014. 

“As like our last couple of activities for Yudh, we are pitching it like a feature film. Hence, we don’t intent to do run-of the-mill activities for the show like we do for Entertainment ke Liye Kuch BHi Karega or Kaun Banega Crorepati. YUdh, does not need that as, it is something we believe will grow organically”, added Seth.

The digital space will also see many innovations for twitter fans. ‘Curtain raiser’ a twitter based initiative which will allow a person to unlock the content of the first episode. People with maximum number of tweets will have the opportunity to watch a maximum of 10 mins from the first episode a day prior to the show launch. Furthermore viewers will get an opportunity to unlock and watch a part of the episode scheduled to be telecast the next day before anyone else does. After every episode, a series of questions would be displayed and viewers, who correctly answer, stand a chance to exclusively preview the following day’s episode. This option to audience will be available throughout the season of the show.

A one of a kind application ‘Yudh Nama’ is designed which will reveal what similarities a person has with the character traits of Yudhishtir. The launch of this application is scheduled with the launch of the show.

The impactful promo of the grand show will be seen across channels reaching genres like news, music, Bollywood movies and regionals. The channel has gone ahead and secured over 10,000 spots which are outside the MSM network. Avid radio listeners from Mumbai, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and cities of Maharashtra & Gujarat having a population of over 1 million will also be hearing spots of the promo leading to the tune in of the show. Movie goers who would be visiting the multiplexes and single screens to catch up on recent flicks will witness the high octane promo of the show featuring the Mr. Bachchan.

Over and above the promotions it would be inevitable for travelers of Delhi, Mumbai and Uttar Pradesh to skip the gigantic outdoor posters/hoardings of YUDH.

Speaking of how Yudh may limit the audience spread to metros and focusing on males viewers, Seth diminishing the statement said, “ Amitabh Bachchan is a star who cuts across all geographies and  classes and distinctions. He has equal number of female fans as male fanes, and even people from a small town Raipur or Ranchi will have the same curiosity to watch him on their television sets. Our message is clear - 'Come and watch the USP of the show'. In the slot we are pitching we don't see any competition, the idea is to launch this show as stand-alone entity and not to shift audience from some other channel to our channel”.

Yudh has managed to bring in a decent number of sponsors, right from - Cadbury Dairy Milk, off which Mr. Bachchan is the brand ambassador, OLX.in, Honda, Maruti Suzuki, Nutrela, Syska LED, Ultratech, Goibibo.com  


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