afaqs!

'Shocker' campaign for magician Ugesh Sarcar's 3rd Degree

By Surina Sayal , afaqs!, Mumbai | In OOH News | August 20, 2008
The channel has launched an innovative outdoor campaign to promote the show, which will both shock and surprise viewers

Move over & #BANNER1 & # Criss Angel and David Blaine, India has its very own street magician and illusionist, Ugesh Sarcar, who is making his presence felt. UTV Bindass' show, Ugesh Sarcar's 3rd Degree, is a street magic show that takes the art of magic in India to a new level. It features the young Ugesh Sarcar weaving magic on screen through the streets of India, converting the streets into his stage and the passers-by into his audience.

The show, which was launched about 11 months ago, has launched an innovative marketing campaign for the first time. The larger campaign has been rolled out across the country, while the innovations have been carried out in key locations in Mumbai and Delhi beginning August 16.

The creatives in this high impact campaign include floor stickers in malls and multiplexes, which look like Sarcar's head coming up from under a tile in the floor. Two steps ahead, one sees the show branding. Here, the creatives were kept clean so that the image shocks a person before he sees the branding, thus letting the medium do its job.

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Another innovative idea is that of taxi branding. The rear windshield of taxis have stickers that show Sarcar's body in the cab facing ahead, while his head is turned around completely, giving his neck a wrung-around look.

In lift branding at malls and multiplexes, a typical magic trick scene is depicted. A girl is seen lying horizontally across the lift doors and Sarcar standing over her on one side of the lift. When the doors of the lift open, it looks like he has split her in two parts. In all, about 50 malls and multiplexes in Mumbai and Delhi were chosen for this innovative branding. Through the campaign in malls, multiplexes and cabs, the channel is sure it will get the desired eyeballs of its core target group (TG) of SEC A, B and C, 15-34 years.

Speaking to afaqs!, Ashok A Cherian, vice-president, marketing, Bindass, says, "Ugesh Sarcar's 3rd Degree revived magic programming on television in a big way and many channels followed suit with their own magic shows. The audience has taken to the show very well. When we go to malls, Sarcar needs security because he's mobbed by visitors asking him to repeat tricks. We're doing this innovative campaign because Sarcar is doing some big magic tricks now, so we wanted to make some noise about it."

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The show also has special episodes lined up. On August 21, Sarcar teaches some tricks to the members of Indian Ocean, the popular music band. On August 25, he will make an entire car appear out of thin air. On August 28, singer and model Sherlyn Chopra will learn and create magic with Sarcar. In the August 18 episode, the magician emerged after being buried alive.

Before this eyeball grabbing campaign, Ugesh Sarcar's 3rd Degree was promoted mostly through virals, online marketing, forwards and through YouTube. No above-the-line communication was employed.

The novel campaign has been created by Grey Worldwide. Gaurav Soi, director, client services, Grey Mumbai, says, "In India, magic has seen the auditorium phenomenon, where the audience sits and the magician performs on stage. Street magic is just about picking up in India, while internationally, you have David Blaine and others performing this form of magic. We wanted to do something different for the show and this 'magic' theme gave us the leeway to do unconventional stuff."

Cherian adds, "Since the theme of the show itself is clutter breaking, it would have been a big mistake if we had done just some regular above-the-line campaign." That's how the breakthrough ideas came up.

An innovative fašade branding is also planned at the Eros theatre in Mumbai, using smart, creative and intelligent photography.

Soi adds, "Apart from the unconventional media, we've also used conventional media like hoardings in Mumbai and Delhi and print. In print, too, something different has been done. We've used The Brand Reporter magazine to create customised ads for readers that address each reader by his/ her name."

The show will have some more interesting creatives in the second phase of the campaign. It is being promoted at college campuses and festivals such as St Xavier's Malhar, NMIMS Umang, Sophia's Kaleidoscope and AIIMS' Pulse, for which the youth channel, Bindass, is the media partner.

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