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AXN gets Hero Honda to sponsor fourth edition of Action Awards - Mr.Bhat - 05-14-2009

MUMBAI: Action oriented broadcaster AXN has announced the fourth edition of its local initiative AXN Action Awards with Hero Honda as its title sponsor.

"Thums Up, Axe Deodrant and Nokia are the associate sponsors. Despite the downturn, sponsors have returned as the property is recognisable," AXN India senior VP, business head Rohit Bhandari tells

Neha Dhupia will once again host the show. A curtain raiser announcing the nominees in five catgories - movie, director, actor, actor in a negative role and best stunt sequence - airs on 17 May at 8 pm.

While the format of the show is the same, rewarding work done in the field of action by Bollywood, AXN is carrying out several marketing activities, one among them being roadshows across the six metros.

"A canter will also go around. A new element this time around is a biker brigade. They will visit the hotspots," says Bhandari.

People can win merchandise on the spot by answering questions. This, Bhandari says, is more impactful than just using print which is passive.

AXN will also have branding at PVR multiplexes. Of course the strike could act as a dampener in terms of getting visibility here, he concedes. The show will also have a tie up with Crosswords bookstore and video rental service BigFlicks.

"Our aim is to find relevant touchpoints. BigFlicks has a synergy. People are in the mood to watch movies. So when a DVD reaches their home, it will be accompanied with our leaflet," avers Bhandari.[Image: axn.png]

Voting takes place from 18 May - 15 June. Last time around AXN had tied up with Cafe Coffee Day. Bhandari explains that this association has not been renewed as it is difficult to keep track of deliverables. "There are many outlets and so monitoring their progress on the promotion is a challenge."

AXN is also using radio for promotion of the show and has tied up with Red FM and Fever FM. Continuing with the past practice, it is not using the print medium.

The show featuring the winners wil air in July. The one-hour special will have the winners talk to Dhupia about their experiences in making the film.

In terms of doing other local activities, Bhandari concedes that the downturn has forced the broadcaster to amend its strategy.

"The channel had earlier thought of doing an initiative around adventure sports. However the downturn came in and we had to change our plans," says Bhandari.