9 Sassy Marketing Strategies for Promotion of Mahabharat

Draupadi
What does the dialogue ‘Main Samay hoon…’ bring to mind? There is a good chance that you just reeled back to those Sunday mornings with BR Chopra’s Mahabharat. I remember watching it with neighbors and family. During the telecast, the streets across the country used to wear a deserted look. After 23 years, Star Plus launched the epic saga- Mahabharat in an all-new avatar on September 16.

What is the reason behind the re-launch?

According to Star, it is being made for people below 25 years of age who have missed or are unaware of B R Chopra’s Mahabharat. No need to mention all the fans of the original series, who will tune in to see how this one shaped up.

How is this series any different from the previous one?

For starters, Lord Krishna will narrate the epic starting with the Shantanu and Satyavati episode.

What is the Marketing Strategy?

Star Plus aggressively promoted the new series with an innovative campaign targeting younger viewers. Sources say the channel will spend almost 20 per cent of the production cost to market the show.

Teaser Campaign

A teaser campaign is a marketing drive, which usually comprises a succession of small, mysterious, challenging advertisements that lead into a bigger, full-scale campaign for the product (a TV serial in this case) launch. The teaser trailer for Mahabharat was launched in the month of May.

The Mahabharat teasers were shown through the Star Network. The producers collaborated with another 25 channels, which also aired the teasers.

The ads overturned the conventional perspectives about characters and thus shook up the viewers.

For example, Shakuni has always been known as the evil uncle. The channel portrays him as a brother who is trying to avenge the injustice meted out to his sister.

Similarly, Draupadi is no more the victim of patriarchy but a proto-feminist, a representation of Shakti, the goddess figure.

Museums

To bring the grandeur of the epic to the audience, Mahabharat Museums have been set up in malls across key cities all over the country. The museums will exhibit the costumes, jewelry, weaponry and other materials used in the serial. Mahabharat ‘Museums on Wheels’ with LED installations did the rounds across the small cities and towns. Using Glastrons, the special 3D glasses the viewers take a virtual tour of the sets of Hastinapura, Mathura, Vrindavan.

Virtual Wardrobes

Using Kinect Mirror technology, the audience can dress up like the characters from Mahabharat. This interactive virtual wardrobe was introduced at colleges, across seven cities. This allows youngsters to and uploaded their images on social platforms.

Mobile Apps

To further engage the viewers, the channel has introduced mobile apps that users to listen to slokas/chants, and view the family tree of Kauravas and Pandavas.

Mahabharat_Game

Social Media

The Star Plus marketing team created a page for each of the major characters of the show. This will ensure that the viewer relates to or understands the character better.

Making of Mahabharat

The Making of Mahabharat’ was aired on Star Plus during primetime and was also released on YouTube. The videos feature interviews with the crew and exclusive behind the scenes clips.

Outdoor Media

A life size Arjun shooting an arrow at the eye of a fish during Draupadi’s ‘swayamwara’ will be on display around the country.

Bollywood/Hollywood Celebrity Association –

To add some movie magic to the series, the production team has roped in Ajay-Atul of Agneepath fame to compose the original soundtrack and Ismail Darbar of Devdas and Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam will compose the ‘War theme’/Kurukshetra theme. As an added bonus, Bhanu Atiya, who won an Oscar for Best Costume design for Gandhi in 1983, has designed the costumes.

Star Power

Star Plus hopes to amaze viewers with cutting edge special effects, opulent VFX sets and a star-studded star cast. You will get to see Puneet Issar (Dhuryoudan in the late 90’s series) as Bhishma, #Pooja Sharma as Draupadi, Praneet Bhatt as Sakuni among others September 16 marked the success of the TV series. Critics have given mixed reviews so far, however these types of shows work in the long run if they can hook a regular audience. While, the VFX has been generally praised, it has probably added a fair bit to the show’s budget. It will be interesting to see whether they maintain the same production quality, or slowly cut back to focus on the characters, once the show is established.

We will keep you posted about the TRP ratings for the show as and when it is available to us, till then do tell us how did you enjoy the show? Did it live up to all the hype that was created around it?

Show details:

Episodes – 128
Timings – Monday thru Friday 8:30pm
Duration – 22 minutes till September 31
24 minutes from October 01
Sponsors – Fortune Oil, Ghadi Detergent and 15 other unannounced.

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