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Sony in overdrive to promote YRF shows
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With a sizeable Rs15 crore promotion budget for its new shows being produced by Yash Raj Films (YRF), Sony Entertainment Television, the Hindi channel owned by Multi Screen Media Pvt. Ltd, is painting the town red. Literally.

The media company has booked more than 1,500 outdoor sites, including bus stops and bus backs. The promotional bill boards are in red—the colour of Yash Raj Films’ brand.

Sony Entertainment has also taken television spots across more than 17 channels, including news, music and children’s channels. In print, it has booked ads across 20 publications—both Hindi and English dailies.

“We‘ve taken ads in all the mainline newspapers whether it’s Dainik Jagran, Dainik Bhaskar, Hindustan Times or The Times of India. Among television channels, we’ve picked a whole range of channels such as NDTV, CNN IBN, Zoom, Nickelodeon, MTV and Hungama,” says Danish Khan, vice-president (marketing) at Sony. The Hindustan Times is published by HT Media Ltd, which also publishes Mint.

The channel’s extensive outdoor campaign has covered 17 cities including Mumbai, Delhi and Kolkata. The media agency for the campaign is Mediacom India Pvt. Ltd; the creatives have been done by Leo Burnett India.

Of the five new shows being produced by YRF, four are fiction-based and named Powder, Mahi Way, Seven and Rishta.Com. The sole non-fiction, celebrity-based show is Lift Kara De. The shows are meant to strengthen Sony’s weekend programming and viewership on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

The title sponsors for the shows include brands such as Neutrogena, Gillette, Good Knight Mosquito Repellent, Alpenliebe and Tata Photon.

However, not all media planners are rushing to buy inventory. Anita Bose, general manager (Team LG) at GroupM India Pvt. Ltd, will wait to see how some of these shows perform. She says that the channel may be charging heavy premiums, but few advertisers would be willing to put that kind of money on the table.

“Their previous shows have not performed well in ratings and that could be a drawback,” she says. Bose, however, concedes that launching new shows is the way to go for Sony which has, in recent weeks, been No. 4 in the general entertainment space.

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