Avika Gor, who essayed the character of Anandi on Colors' show, Balika Vadhu, has been one of the most loved child actors on-screen in recent times. The show itself has been amongst the top performers for the channel. Thus, when a recent five-year time leap was announced that would replace the child-bride with a woman, it only made sense for the channel to create intrigue around it; thereby arousing interest for the coming episodes.
While print and outdoor ads generated curiosity, the show's viewers were asked to vote for the new face they'd like to see as Anandi. To complement these, an activity was also rolled out on-ground.
The activation was carried out over a weekend across malls in five cities, namely Jaipur, Lucknow, Indore, Nagpur and Ahmedabad.
At the venues, a thematic design supported the concept, which involved taking visitors through Anandi's life, from childhood to adulthood. 'Kumkum' footprints - which an Indian bride makes while entering her husband's house for the first time - led visitors to a maze-like exhibit, created out of 'saree' drapes. The size of the footprints increased from those of a child to those of an adult, to depict the fact of Anandi growing up.
People could walk through the maze and look at objects, which were displayed in sequence to mark Anandi's journey from childhood to adulthood.
At the end of the maze, a setup was created where people were invited to play interactive games based on household chores, such as kneading dough, stacking clothes, or cutting vegetables. There was also a quiz based on Anandi's life and things that they saw in the maze. The winners got gifts such as Balika Vadhu merchandise, Rajasthani dolls and traditional red 'dupattas'.
The second phase of the activation comprised meet-n-greet events at ladies' clubs/mahila samitis for contest winners, whom the channel had enrolled through a print and an SMS campaign. Ladies were invited to meet the characters of the show and interact with them.
Interestingly, part of the objective of the activation was to engage with consumers in the cities, where the programme's TRPs are low.
Devika Sharma, vice-president, client servicing, Candid Marketing says, "We were able to reach at least 30,000 people across these five cities through the activity."
The new face of Balika Vadhu, Pratyusha Banerjee, was announced on July 24. Whether the new Anandi makes an impression is yet to be seen, but the buzz produced on-ground with ideas such as the red bridal footprints would have left some mark on people's minds. Let's wait and watch whether the activity does anything to boost TRPs in these markets.