ZEE5 is a blockbuster place, where you can get great shows and movies: Manish Kalra

ZEE5 has announced the third instalment of its highly popular dramedy franchise – ‘Tripling’. ‘Tripling S3’ features Sumeet Vyas, Maanvi Gagroo, Amol Parashar, Kumud Mishra, Shernaz Patel and Kunaal Roy Kapur in significant roles and will premiere on ZEE5 this year.

Spanning across 5 episodes, ‘Tripling S3’ will encapsulate the essence of the three siblings and their bond as they embark on a new journey this season as they will be joined by their parents and respective partners. After a gap of over 3 years, ‘Tripling’ is finally returning with Season 3 on ZEE5.

Adgully spoke to Manish Kalra, Chief Business Officer, ZEE5 India, to know more about ZEE5’s content strategy, partnerships and marketing plans, as well as the road ahead for OTT in India.

Edited Excerpts:

How has your partnership with TVF been?

Till now, to be very honest, it’s been an amazing partnership. When we put their shows on AVOD, which is a free platform, we saw a good response, the youth audience coming and consuming, and a lot of men who were not so regular on our free platform, they came and watched it. It has been a good partnership in attracting new audiences. You might recall that in June this year, we launched ‘Saas Bahu Aachar’, which is a very good property. Recently, Amruta Subash won the best actress award for ‘Saas Bahu Aachar’. We are now ready with ‘Tripling’, which is an iconic show and which we want to put out during the festive times.

What is your marketing strategy and content line-up for the festive season?

We launched Akshay Kumar-starrer ‘Raksha Bandhan’. We also launched ‘Karthikeyan’ in the South. This Telugu movie is doing amazingly well and has become a superhit. We have another superhit Telugu movie, ‘Bimbisara’, lined up, then there is ‘Tripling’ and many other shows, so every week is a packed one for us. Our strength right now is the top 20 cities, we want to expand to the next 50 cities and have a wider reach in the Tier 2 and 3 cities with such shows, which are connecting well with everyone. ZEE5 is a blockbuster place, where you can get great shows and great movies.

Do you think OOH is still relevant in terms of promoting an OTT show in the post-pandemic times as well?

We are a visual medium. When you see an ad on YouTube, you see another one on Facebook and Instagram; when you travel to your office or go shopping, you see an outdoor hoarding – all of these are reminder media. The way we approach marketing should be an integrated approach – all media come together to remind you and create awareness about the show and the product. So yes, outdoor definitely works, specifically for shows and movies, wherein there are big star faces whom people want to see – that’s a big reminder.

During Ganesh Chaturthi this year, ZEE5 was the OTT partner for Mumbai Cha Raja. How did that association happen?  What was the kind of traction that you received?

For us as a brand, we want to stay real, relatable, to the ground and we want to ensure that we have the pulse of the people. Mumbai Cha Raja is one of the biggest pandals that we have in Mumbai, so we tied up with them with the intent of showing the darshan live to our audience. We realised that there is a huge overlap, people who were not in Mumbai also want to view the darshan. I think millions of views happen for that show.

What are the other partnerships that you plan to do for ZEE5?

We have ongoing partnerships, TVF is a long one. You might be aware that in partnership with Applause we launched three shows recently – ‘Kaun Banegi Shikharwati’, ‘Mithya’ and ‘Bloody Brother’. There are multiple good quality creatives and producers that we are engaged with on an ongoing basis, because we want to get good stories which we want to connect with the audience.

What are your plans for the OTT platform in the next five years, where do you see it headed?

OTT is going to grow and we are going to multiply manifold; it will co-exist with cinema. Cinema caters to certain needs – let’s say when you go to cinema, you are not only going for the movie, it’s the entire experience. You want to watch it with your family, on the big screen, with amazing sound, audio, popcorn and all that. It’s an experience that we all go for. That will obviously sustain. OTT gives you the convenience to watch it from the comfort of your home, you don’t want to go out. I think it will be a synergistic relationship and we all kind of grow and prosper together.


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