As ongoing show takes chilling twist, Star amps up media plan

By Anirban Roy Choudhury , afaqs!, Mumbai | In Media Publishing | April 14, 2017
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We spoke to Narayan Sundararaman, general manager, Star Plus about the channel's media plan to promote 'Kya Qusoor Hai Amla Ka'.

How many times in the past have you seen Amitabh Bachchan, the Big B of Bollywood on screen promoting a show, which is not Kaun Banega Crorepati (KBC) which he hosts? Not many, right? Yes, it is indeed surprising to see a TV daily soap being promoted by a Bollywood celebrity who has nothing to do with the show.

On April 12, 2017, Star Plus released a video involving Amitabh Bachchan which takes on victim shaming and urges people to watch 'Kya Qusoor Hai Amla Ka' (KQHAK). This show is an Indian adaptation of the Turkish hit TV series 'Fatmagul'. The show dives deep into the life of a rape victim (Amla), portrays the victim shaming and social stigma that she has to face. The show is produced by 24 Frames and is shot in Dharamshala.

KQHAK is one of the four afternoon shows that Star Plus recently released as a part of the 'Star Dopahar' initiative. The show went on air on April 3, 2017.

"When we got into afternoon programming, we were clear that we want to grow viewership - time spent on television. We released four fresh stories in the afternoon slot and now with this campaign, we are further pushing the envelope," says, Narayan Sundararaman general manager, Star Plus.

Narayan Sundararaman adressing the media

The former Mondelez exec adds, "This campaign is to throw light on the fact that our society ends up being more critical towards the victim as compared to the perpetrator. Everyone is questioning the rape victim Amla, what we call victim shaming. While it is a part in the show, it is also very much evident in society today and that is why we decided to go ahead with the campaign."

"We asked ourselves why are we doing this show and the answer was, to generate awareness in society, and that is when we said, okay, why not support the show with a campaign? And that's is why a day after the rape scene was aired, we launched the campaign."

Amitabh Bachchan played a similar role in Pink where he fought for the victim as a lawyer, but that was not what took Star Plus to Jalsa says Sundararaman, "He is a voice of credibility and that is why we chose him. Of course he played that role in Pink, but that wasn't the primary reason," he informs.

Star will air this campaign across the entire network, will push it on Hotstar during Indian Premier League streaming and will also reach out to the masses through channels outside the network. "We do not have news, so we will put the campaign on news channels, we have an expensive digital media plan to promote the initiative and we will do it over the next 15 days. The initiative will be on for a couple of weeks," asserts Sundararaman.

The internal marketing team worked on the campaign. From production to writing it, all was executed internally.

"It is great to see Star India promoting a show like this. It is great for the show runner and the entire production unit will be very happy. Other producers associated with the channel will push them now, asking, why not do something similar to promote our show? To my understanding, it is a good show and is fetching 0.9 TVR compared to 3.5 of 'Yeh Rishta'. Now, the production cost is similar and this campaign is an extra effort to fetch more ratings," says a senior producer who prefers not to be named.

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