EPIC TV, the soon-to-be launched Hindi entertainment channel, has appointed Madison as its media agency. The agency will handle both the media planning and buying duties for the channel that aims to offer content centred on Indian history, mythology and folklore.
Meanwhile, it has also appointed iContract, a part of Contract Advertising and the WPP Group, to manage the creative and brand building duties for the channel.
Jack in the Box Worldwide, the content-for-brands arm of Bang Bang Films, India's international production company, has been selected to manage all digital communication for EPIC.
EPIC's agency decision comes after a month long process of agency pitches for each of the mandates. Says Aparna Pandey, business head, EPIC, "EPIC is a differentiated channel that will present meaningful entertainment against an innovative backdrop. Therefore, we were searching for partners who would exemplify fresh and enlightening approach in ideas and thought process. There was so much of creativity in all the agencies we met; however our selected partners had something different to offer, which appealed to all of us at EPIC. We are confident that our brand will be portrayed exactly like we perceive it, with the help and support of our partner agencies."
Rana Barua, COO, Contract India, says "I am excited that the management of EPIC Television Networks has entrusted iContract with their trust and faith in launching the channel in the country. iContract is one of our key offerings which merges the world of digital, experiential and mainline with powerful and effective media-neutral ideas and I am confident that the launch will be successful."
Vanita Keswani, COO, Madison Media Sigma, says, "We are delighted to be helping India's first digital channel with their launch strategy in the dynamic digitizing cable TV scenario and we are looking forward to a long and mutually beneficial relationship."
Prashanth Challapalli, business head, Jack in the Box, adds, "EPIC is a completely new genre of programming in the television entertainment space. India has a rich history and the possibilities of telling these stories in the digital medium are really exciting. Our mandate is to create awareness and more importantly, relevance for the brand in the online space."
EPIC, an entertainment channel with a new found perspective on Hindi content, has collaborated with these agencies to initiate a comprehensive launch campaign that is designed to excite, engage and connect with audiences through multiple touch points. EPIC will have action, drama, comedy, supernatural and narrative non-fiction content, set against Indian historic and mythological eras.
The Mahesh Samat-owned channel is gearing up for an unparalleled launch slated for August 2013, subject to regulatory approvals.
As reported earlier, it is learnt that depending on the response to the channel, Epic Television Network may launch a few more niche channels.
EPIC will shoot at real locations in HD. Many well-known production houses will produce shows for the channel. The programming strategy will contain a mix of fiction shows, narrative non-fiction shows, short form content as well as films at launch, the company says.
For the record, Epic Television, which was set up around October 2012, is the promoter of the channel. It is funded by a group of financial investors. Samat will be the managing director of the channel, while the rest of the team will include Ravina Kohli, Aparna Pandey and Manish Thukral. Kohli was head, Yash Raj Films TV and will be development head, while Pandey will take care of the content and packaging; she was earlier working with Big CBS as business head. Thukral will be the chief financial officer for the company. Anand Mahindra is one of the many investors, who is backing the channel in his personal capacity.