Movies Now gathers speed with Star Wars

By Devesh Gupta , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Media Publishing
Last updated : March 28, 2013
The English movies channel from the Times Television Network has launched a campaign to promote the complete Star Wars series running through March and April.

After celebrating the Bond festival in the last part of 2012, Movies Now has yet again launched a programming initiative with the Star Wars series to reach out to its audience.

The channel will air all the six movies in the Star Wars series including Star Wars: A New Hope (1977); Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back (1980); Star Wars: Return of the Jedi (1983); Star Wars: Phantom Menace (1999); Star Wars: Attack of the Clones (2002); and Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith (2005).

The channel acquired the Star Wars property a year ago and the films will be shown every Thursday at 9 pm in the months of March and April. However, it refused to divulge any details about the cost of acquisition.

Ajay Trigunayat, chief executive officer, English entertainment channels, Times TV Network, says, "While Star Wars is very well known in the west, it is almost unknown to young Indian masses. The campaign's objective was to introduce Star Wars in India."

To increase awareness about the initiative, the channel has launched an eight week campaign in March. Movies Now plans to tap people aged over 15 years through this campaign across eight metros such as Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru, Kolkata, Chennai and Hyderabad.

The creatives for the 360 degree campaign are designed by BBH India. The campaign involves more than 6,000 spots across 20 different channels of various genres and languages, including the four channels of the Times Television Network.

Movies Now has also launched a high decibel outdoor campaign using the characters of the movies at over 200 touch points such as parking lots and billboards at high traffic junctions to catch eyeballs. The OOH for the campaign was executed by Posterscope India.

As part of the campaign, cut outs of Master Yoda, one of the character in the series, and his light sabers have been placed at several parking lots as the barrier in the key malls of Mumbai and New Delhi. In another creative, Darth Vander, the legendary villain in the movies, is used on billboards put up at important junctions and metro stations. The campaign is also extended to print publications.

A tie up with Cafe Coffee Day entails several innovations in 60 cafes across eight metros. These innovations include specialised coffee stencils, café wall branding and interactive tray mats such as 'Connect the dots', 'Star Wars Maze', 'Crossword' and 'Are You the Chosen One'.

On the digital front, there are regular interactions with fans through posts, contests, games and polls. A Facebook contest requires people to spot and pose with the channel's innovations in key malls and guess the character to win official Star Wars Darth Maul and Darth Vader light sabers.

Trigunayat says, "We expect that viewers will not only come to watch Star Wars but will also watch a whole lot of the channel throughout the activity period. We have already seen an overall increase in channel share."

The Star Wars property is sponsored by Samsung Galaxy Grand and has a host of associate sponsors such as Airtel, HP, Asian Paints Royale, Standard Chartered, Nivea and Lux ONN. Samsung holds the title sponsorship acquired at about Rs 2 crore.

Trigunayat says, "Our channel is watched by more than 20 million people a month and with the Star Wars campaign running, we aim to reach out to over 75 million people."

Sources reveal that Movies Now has spent nearly Rs 3 crore to market the campaign for the Star Wars property. A similar amount was spent to promote the Bond festival in 2012.

Apart from Star Wars, Movies Now boasts of several franchises such as the James Bond series, Rocky and others.

First Published : March 28, 2013
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