Zee takes competition head-on with new shows, storylines & strategy

Encouraging viewers to brush aside the naysayers and cultivate a “Yes I can do that!” attitude is Zee TV’s next fiction offering, ‘Guddan…Tumse Na Ho Payega’. Premiering on September 3, 2018, the show will air every Monday to Friday at 8 pm. 

Produced by Shoonya Square, the show tells the light-hearted story of a 20-year old girl, Guddan, who having bumbled and fumbled through most of her life and being told by her own family that she can barely get one thing right, finds herself becoming India’s youngest mother-in-law to three older daughters-in-law by a quirk of circumstances. 

In a role reversal to the typical saas-bahu relationship, three daughters-in-law set out in search of a suitable bride for their 40-year old father-in-law Akshat and each, for their own vested interests, get him married to 20-year old Guddan. Being a new saas in a household where the older bahus have ruled the roost for the longest time, Guddan is the quintessential inexperienced outsider faced with resistance, challenges and is time and again stripped powerless by the phrase – ‘Tumse Na Ho Paega’. Will Guddan tide over self-doubt and brave all the daily challenges thrown her way to shut down her critics and cynics once and for all by proving Guddan Se Ho Paega? 

‘Guddan…Tumse Na Ho Paega’ features Kanika Mann in the title role, while Nishant Singh Malkani has been cast as Akshat. The show will also see actors like Shweta Mahadik, Daljeet Soundh, Sehrish Ali, Mayank Verma, Rehan Roy and others in pivotal roles. 

Aparna Bhosle, Business Head, Zee TV, commented, “Zee TV has been at the forefront of presenting stories that not only resonate with the great Indian middle class, but also motivate them to believe in themselves, act on their strengths proactively in order to reach out to an extraordinary future. In keeping with our philosophy, ‘Aaj Likhenge Kal’, our next show ‘Guddan…Tumse Na Ho Payega’ aims at addressing the myths surrounding self-doubt and capability. It prods viewers to not be bogged down by others’ estimations of what you can or cannot do, cast aside your insecurities, believe in your abilities and you might just surprise yourself by achieving more than what you ever imagined. It also carries the beautiful subtext that you needn’t be perfect in order to lead a perfect life. With its quirky narrative, this ‘dramedy’ will have audiences rooting for Guddan at the 8 pm slot, further strengthening our fiction line-up. With the introduction of ‘Guddan…Tumse Na Ho Payega’ and ‘Tujhse Hai Raabta’ on the same day, we only intend to bolster our overall position.” 

Producer Ved Raj from Shoonya Square, added here, “There are many in life who are quick to point out our weaknesses and curb our confidence by saying ‘Tumse Na Ho Payega’. Guddan’s feel-good story will make you realise that you needn’t be all perfect in order to make things work… it’s okay to have your flaws, who doesn’t? And more importantly, you can move mountains if only you learn to ignore these kill-joys who try and dissuade you from achieving what you set your mind to. The story will follow the journey of a girl who has been doubted her entire life, but hasn’t lost her optimism. Through her innocent, earnest attempts, she displays a never-say-die spirit that is truly endearing. The story is entertaining and motivating all at once. We are proud to partner with Zee TV, India’s leading broadcaster in bringing the show to our viewers. We have a stellar cast on board and hope to put a big smile on everyone’s faces with the show!” 

Adgully spoke to Aparna Bhosle, who recently took charge as Business Head of Zee TV, on the idea behind ‘Guddan…Tumse Na Ho Payega’, reaching out to Tier 3 & 4 markets, Zee TV’s content strategy, her vision as Business Head and more. Excerpts: 

Where did the idea for ‘Guddan...Tumse Na Ho Payega’ come from?
It was completely Sonali’s idea, but of course our fiction team worked on it. It was Sonali who came up with the concept for the show, the characters and how they shape up. When we go for our market visits, we have our own insights team who help with certain situations in the show, but the main storyline belongs to Sonali and Amit. 

What is the marketing strategy for this show?
For ‘Guddan...Tumse Na Ho Payega’, we have done a lot of ATL activities which have worked wonderfully. Apart from our channels, we are also going to advertise on news channels. We have also done outdoor campaigns and a decent amount of digital with #RaabtaBandhan and radio in UP and Maharashtra. 

What kind of research goes into Zee TV’s shows before hitting the television screens?
By calling it research you would be stereotyping it. We have our fiction teams who visit a lot of markets and have one-on-one conversations with the people to get to know women’s story and understand the challenges that they face, which spark ideas on what our next line-up of stories are going to be based on. 

How are you tapping the Tier 3 & 4 markets with such kind of content?
We have a current policy under which one year no pay TV show can go to an FTA channel. I understand Zee Anmol backwards as I have been handling it for several years. ‘Guddan...Tumse Na Ho Payega’ will work wonders on Zee Anmol because at a concept level when we spoke to smaller towns, it was something that they connected with. 

Also Read: Zee TV puts the spotlight on undefined relationships that are special to us!

What is your vision for the channel as the Business Head?
As a business role, if the company trusts you by giving you that position, it’s a force for you to become a formidable player in this space. If you look at Q1, we were leaders with a very less margin, we lost that in Q2 which is why these two launches are important. Our competitors are launching what they have to and we have to keep pace with a slew of launches. 

The question is of bringing in the most insightful content, which I think we have, and launching it in the right slot. My aim would be to make sure that we find concepts that stay true to ‘Aaj Likhengay Kal’, because it cannot just become a byline and hence, we will find those angles in our shows. We have been doing it and will continue to make sure that the performance strengthens much more. 

You have been with Zee for almost 7 years, how have you seen the company evolve over the years?
I have previously worked with various companies under various industries and normally, when it got close to 4 or 4-and-a-half years, I would quit. Never touched the 5-year mark. I can’t explain what it is about Zee; Zee has always felt like family, and my respect for Subash Ji is what I feel for my parents and in some cases even higher. He has been an amazing visionary and even the small conversations that I have had with him have been as impactful to me as a person. I know what his vision is and I want to be here and make sure we reach that goal. Punit Mishra has been a great asset to the team. He has got a lot of strength and insight as he comes from an FMCG background. Punit Goenka is amazing when it comes to creative ideas. So, the strength of Subhash Ji, Punit Goenka and Punit Mishra is just an amazing amalgamation that you have to be a part of it. 

How is Aaj Likhengay Kal reflecting on the content?
If you look at our shows, for instance, take ‘Ishq Subhan Allah’ which we launched immediately after the Triple Talaq Bill was passed in Parliament, it is all about listening in to what the current issues are and dealing with them in a fictionalised form to give people enough strength to know what the possibilities are. 

Are you looking at revamping the time band?
It is always an ongoing process and my strength is numbers. The real test will be after these two launches. We have a number of shows in the pipeline and after that it will take some trend analysis to know about a show’s performance. If a show does not perform, then there’s a lot of study that would be required and some tweaking – it’s all a part of the business.

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