Mahuaa TV readies for debut in Bhojpuri heartland

By Sangeeta Tanwar , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Media Publishing | August 08, 2008
The GEC is being rolled out by the media and entertainment company, Century Communication Limited

The massive & #BANNER1 & # popularity of Bhojpuri films is not only limited to the Bhojpuri heartland which includes Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, parts of Orissa, West Bengal, Jharkhand and Mumbai, which have substantial Bhojpuri speaking population have not escaped its magic.

Now the Bhojpuri speaking population which is estimated to be around 33 million - as per Indian Census - have more reasons to rejoice. A Bhojpuri GEC (general entertainment channel), Mahuaa TV, which promises a heavy dose of entertainment, is all set to go on air on August 11.

The GEC is being launched by Century Communication Limited (CCL), a media and entertainment company, boasting of four verticals: Pixion (media services, such as post production facilities), Pearl Media (media sales for TV broadcasters), CCL Studio (filming facilities at a state-of-the-art digital studio) and Metamorphosis (one-stop shop for branding and design solutions).

Raghwesh Asthana, business head, Mahuaa TV spoke to afaqs! about the plans for the new Bhojpuri channel. Revealing the purpose and strategy behind the regional channel, Asthana says, "Bhojpuri, as a language, is spoken and understood by more than 33 million people in our country. The language has a stronghold over two of the biggest states, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. The channel will be a GEC, offering the Bhojpuri speaking population a complete entertainment package in terms of news bulletins, daily soaps and weekend movies."

Asthana is of the view that defining the audience for the channel in terms of age group will not be fair to the channel or the audience. Being a GEC, it is targeted at the whole family, from kids to women and men. Moreover, it is not a niche channel, targeting only a specified section of the audience.

Raghwesh Asthana

Jitendra Khokle
To begin with, the channel will have 10 hours of programming, including five half-hour news segments, six daily soaps, two weekly shows and a movie each on weekdays and weekends. Some of the shows on the channel include women oriented, family soaps such as Chotki Dulhan and Sato Vachanva Nibhaib Sajna; other shows include Bahubali and Baliaa Kranti 1942. Mahuaa TV has a huge line-up of hit Bhojpuri movies starring popular stars, Ravi Kishan and Manoj Tiwari. On weekdays, movies will be aired at 1:30 pm; and on weekends, they will be aired at 7:30 pm.

Asthana emphasizes that the channel has ensured that the content on the channel reflects the simplest and purest form of day to day spoken, identifiable Bhojpuri language. Superfluous or forced usage of the language will achieve nothing but put off the TG.

The advertising campaign for Mahuaa TV is being handled by AMO Communication Private Limited, a Percept Group company.

Jitendra Khokle, chief operating officer, AMO Communication, shared the communication strategy and positioning of Mahuaa TV with afaqs!. "The idea is to position and establish Mahuaa TV as the first, original Bhojpuri channel for the Hindi heartland; and next, play up the content by strongly promoting the programming lineup of the channel. The tagline for the channel, 'Aapan Pahila Bhojpuri TV Channel' aims to do exactly that. The advertising campaign studies and reflects the true nature and psyche of the Bhojpuri speaking belt."

Still from the serial - Baliaa Kranti 1942
Khokle points out that the campaign, spread over print, TV, radio and OOH (out of home) media, uses relevant visuals and colour schemes symbolic of distinct Bhojpuri culture. Giving an example, Khokle describes one of the teaser campaigns, currently on air on India TV. "One of the TV campaigns reflects the real psyche and profile of the audience for Mahuaa TV. In the Bhojpuri speaking belt, putting one's 'gamcha' on a cinema hall seat is equivalent to reserving the particular seat. So, one of the TVCs depicts a large number of people of different age groups and occupations, coming and leaving either a stone or a 'chappal' or any other object near a well, thereby reserving their place in the long queue at the well. The TVC concludes with a super saying, 'Coming Soon', emphatically declaring and informing viewers that a complete channel in your own language is ready to be part and parcel of each Bhojpuri speaking individual."

The teaser campaign on TV went on air from August 4. The next phase of on-air promotion, which will talk about the programming lineup, will begin on August 11, after the formal launch of Mahuaa TV.

In print, two different sets of half-page ads will appear on August 10 and August 11 in newspapers, such as Dainik Jagran, Dainik Bhaskar, Amar Ujala, Hindustan and Hum. More than 600 hoardings have been put up, covering the entire Bhojpuri speaking belt. Ad spots have been taken up in bulk on radio station, Radio Mirchi. The station was chosen because it is the only one with a substantial presence across the states that have a significant number of Bhojpuri speaking people. For instance, in a place like Jaunpur, Radio Mirchi is the only player.

The advertising spend for the pre-launch and launch campaign ranges between Rs 3 to 5 crore. Asthana concludes, "The entire campaign for Mahuaa TV is a highly aggressive, impact oriented, short duration advertising and promotional campaign, establishing it as the first-ever, original Bhojpuri channel in the Hindi heartland."

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