Ananya Roy

Single break, single sponsor during HBO’s exclusive movie premiere

The channel has signed up with Maruti Suzuki for this exclusive advertising deal, wherein the auto major will promote its three high-end brands – ‘Swift’, ‘Grand Vitara’ and ‘Baleno’

HBO has come up with an innovative idea to keep both its advertisers and viewers happy at the same time. The channel will premiere the movie, ‘Undefeated’, on television with just one break of 2-3 minutes’ duration.

During this break, the single sponsor, Maruti Suzuki, will promote its three brands back-to-back – ‘Swift’, ‘Grand Vitara’ and ‘Baleno’. In addition, the company’s logo will appear on the screen all the while that the movie is being aired.

Shruti Bajpai, country manager, HBO, South Asia, says, “This is the first time that an advertiser will get the opportunity to weave its entire brand communication into a presentation, and that too in an uncluttered environment. So, in effect, they are not mere sponsors, they are our partners in this presentation.”

Bajpai says HBO has more innovations up its sleeve, which will put a seal on its tag of being a premier English movie channel, a genre in which many other players already exist.

Bajpai claims, “We aspired to create a brand out of a channel and, in just five years, we have achieved the status of being a one-stop destination for the whole family. We have left behind many other players, which have been in the genre for a lot longer than us, and managed to clinch the ‘English Movie Channel of the Year’ award at the Indian Telly Awards 2004.”

When asked how HBO differentiates itself from the competition in a scenario where it’s mainly the big titles that drive viewership, Bajpai says, “We are the only channel that has a partnership with the four biggest studios in Hollywood – Paramount Pictures, Sony Pictures Entertainment (earlier Columbia TriStar), Universal Studios and Warner Bros. This gives us the right to claim that HBO brings Hollywood’s top blockbusters to the television screen for viewers in South Asia.”

The other winning factor, she explains, is that the channel’s property, HBO Original Movies, exclusively produced for HBO by some of the most talented directors in Hollywood, have always received critical acclaim since the concept was brought alive in 2001.

“The combination of these two set us apart,” says Bajpai.

HBO Original Movies include a broad spectrum of original movies and series, from smaller-budget independents to major motion pictures, touching on a wide range of provocative and entertaining subjects – characteristics that have become its hallmark.

Prime-time viewing on HBO includes ‘The Big One’, ‘The Big Saturday’, ‘Saturday Nights’ and ‘Superstar Sunday’. In addition, Bajpai claims that HBO features at least 3- 4 new movies every month to maintain the freshness of its library.

The channel is also planning an exclusive programming and promotional bonanza at the time of Diwali for its Indian viewers.

© 2005 agencyfaqs!

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