Nisha Qureshi

Zee Cine Awards 2024 sets revenue records; Maruti Suzuki Arena and Coca-Cola lead sponsor lineup

  • The 2024 Zee Cine awards are aiming for a 20-25% revenue increase compared to previous editions

  • The Advertising response is strong with brands like Dabur, Coca-Cola and Maruti onboard

  • The demand for FCT inventory is exceeding expectations

  • The objective this year is to celebrate the return of Hindi Cinema

The Zee Cine Awards are all set to return to our TV screens. The awards this year are going to be bigger in scale and aim at bringing in mass viewership from more than 200 countries, the stakeholders claim.

In a conversation with afaqs!Ashish Sehgal, chief growth officer – ad sales, Zee Entertainment, Shariq Patel, chief business officer, Zee Studios, and Ruchir Tiwari, chief cluster officer, Hindi Movies, Zee Entertainment speak about the scale and the advertising/sponsorship response to the event.

Advertising response

Maruti Suzuki Arena is the presenting sponsor. They have also onboarded brands like Dabur, Bandhan Bank, Chik Strong and Black Shampoo. Two brands from the house of Coca-Cola will also be briefly associated with the IP, Sehgal says.

Sehgal further expects to close the Free Commercial Time (FCT) inventory of the property on a high. “90% of the inventory is eaten up by the sponsors themselves while the remaining for FCT is being sold on premium prices where again are seeing high demand and positive response. There are almost 200-300 seconds of spot buying this year.”

“We are selling FCTs not only for the main show but also for the curtain raiser and the pre-event shows that we will have. This is not a one-day event but an extravaganza. All this is part of the package, we expect to be overselling this year,” he adds.

The 2024 Zee Cine Awards will be simulcasted on Zee Cinema and Zee TV. They will also be streamed on Zee5 and Zee Global and will reach audiences across 200 countries.

Revenue-wise, they expect an uptick of at least 20-25% over last year. The platform will act as the biggest attractor of audiences, along with the star power for the advertiser, claims Sehgal. He further adds that a key focus this year will be on content integrations not only during the award ceremonies but also on social media.

2023 has been a great year for Hindi movies, with some blockbuster hits. This comes after almost two years of uncertainty and very strong anti-Bollywood sentiments seen around. Asked if the following reasons have contributed to a decline in the appeal of such award shows, the trio says, the USP of the awards is that most of the categories are based on viewer’s choice.

“This is exactly what makes them so interesting,” says Tiwari.

As per Tiwari, the objective this year is to celebrate the success and the return of Hindi cinema. “It has been the year of blockbusters with movies like Pathaan, Jawan, Animal, Gadar etc. Overall it has been a very satisfying year for the film industry after almost three years of uncertainty due to Covid.” 

“Zee Cine awards is something we can give back to the audiences,” Tiwari adds.

Promotional and marketing strategy

In addition to this, the network will also be selling tickets to the live award show on BookMyShow and is expecting a great turnaround. According to the trio, even though people see their favourite celebrities all the time on social media, nothing can beat the feeling of watching them perform live.

Stars like Alia Bhatt, Shahid Kapoor, Kriti Sanon, Ananya Panday, Bobby Deol, Ayushmann Khurrana, Mouni Roy as well as SRK are expected to perform. They further plan to have a very sharp, two-week promotional strategy for the IP. According to Patel, they will have a 360-degree media plan with a sharp focus on social media and influencer marketing this year.

“Zee, being a platform that reaches across the country and being a homegrown brand, for us it is about making sure the property penetrates deep into the country. The popularity of the awards will not only be seen through the viewership numbers on TV but also through the social buzz around them. As owners of the property we need to make sure that there is enough chatter, awareness and viewership,” he says.

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