Zee Bollywood gets Nerolac, Lays, Cadbury, Nirma Salt on board as channel partners

Zee Entertainment Enterprises Limited (ZEEL) is all geared to launch its new movie channel – Zee Bollywood – on Friday, August 31, 2018. As reported earlier, the channel will replace Zee Classic, which will go off air. With a brand promise of ‘101% Shuddh Bollywood’, Zee Bollywood will showcase curated Masala Bollywood movies, firmly establishing its position as a one-stop destination for wholesome masala entertainers. 

Research shows that a majority of Indians (39 per cent) love watching Masala Bollywood movies that are truly entertaining. However, Bollywood as an industry is moving towards new age realistic cinema that is low on ‘Filmoglobin’, that is, the X-factor that a Bollywood fan’s heart yearns for. Further, various television channels are airing South-dubbed and Hollywood-dubbed movies that don’t appeal to the true-blue Bollywood fan. To cater to this need gap and satiate every Bollywood aficionado’s entertainment needs, Zee Bollywood would be a Shuddh Bollywood channel. 

The channel celebrates Bollywood with specially curated hand painted movie posters, the usage of dialogue baazi, the explosion of colours, vibrant visual elements, with the Golden Disco Ball representing the song and dance culture of Bollywood that are ingeniously integrated into the design. 

The brand is built on the strongest pillars of entertainment that appeal to the hardcore Bollywood fans such as Romance, Comedy, Action, and Drama and have been conceptualised as follows:

101% Shuddh Romance with films like ‘Chennai Express’, ‘Jab We Met’

101% Shuddh Comedy with films like ‘Phir Hera Pheri’, ‘Houseful’, ‘Welcome’

101% Shuddh Panga with films like ‘Agneepath’, ‘Josh’, ‘Gadar’

101% Shuddh Drama with films like ‘Lagaan’, ‘Judaai’, ‘Raja Hindustani’

The channel will have time bands that speak the Bollywood lingo, such as – Mere Sat-Sun Aayenge (Sat, Sun 9 pm), Subhah Ho Gayi Mamu (Mon to Fri 10.30 am), Dopehar Ka Tadka (Mon to Fri 2 pm), Chalti Hai Kya 9 se 12 (Mon to Fri 9 pm), Raat Baaki (Mon to Fri 12 am) and Maa Kasam Sunday Hai (Sun 10.30 am, 2 pm, 5 pm). 

Commenting on the launch of the new channel, Prathyusha Agarwal, CMO, ZEEL, said, “At ZEEL, our aim has always been to fuel the entertainment space with extraordinary content that satiates the needs of our viewers. Specifically, in the Hindi movie segment we understand the viewer as someone whose mind seeks different kinds of cinema, while his heart continues to yearn for Masala Bollywood. Hence, we came up with the Big idea of Zee Bollywood – a channel that brings you the Best in class ‘Masalon se Koot Koot Ke Bhari Filmein’ that are high on Filmoglobin – the antidote to dubs and new age realistic movies, so that life is pumped up with ‘101% Shuddh Bollywood’. Zee Bollywood is our tribute to Masala Bollywood movies that excite the common man.” 

She further said, “The brand promise of 101% Shuddh Bollywood was conceptualised with rooted strengths of timeless Bollywood movies, larger-than-life expressions and deadly dialogues. The channel’s look and communication has been created to pay homage to the principles of Masala Bollywood with original, iconic and dynamic renditions that viewers will find unique.” 

Talking about their latest offering, Ruchir Tiwari, Business Head, Zee Hindi Movies Cluster, said, “Zee Bollywood is our tribute to that purest form of cinema which stands for wholesome entertainment that defines the ultimate movie viewing experience. The charm of these movies lies in the unparalleled blend of raw emotions, intense drama, powerful action and soulful music delivered in a grand, glamorous scale. However, with the shift in focus to new age or realistic movies in the recent times, this charm is slowly getting lost. Audience of Hindi movies increasingly yearns for this genre of movies which is a strong need gap. With the launch of Zee Bollywood, we intend to wow our viewers with a platform that revels in this flamboyance of Shuddh Bollywood movies.” 

Vijay Sanil, President, Sales at Zee Network, added here, “Our latest offering, Zee Bollywood, promises to appeal to the Hindi speaking markets in the heartland. The new channel will now cater to the hard-core Bollywood fan who is a loyalist of masala Bollywood movies. The strong brand proposition has helped us connect with some of the key like-minded brands across sectors garnering 4 channel partners even before the channel goes live. Currently, we have Nerolac, Lays, Cadbury and Nirma Salt as our channel partners. The response has been extremely positive from our clients and such partnerships further validate our belief in our offering. We are hoping to drive synergies with more brands as we embark on this new journey.” 

Zee Bollywood will be rolling out a high decibel brand campaign through a 360-degree marketing plan that will engage audiences across various mediums – Television, Print, Outdoor, Digital, Radio, and PR. Along with larger-than-life ambient outdoor media promotions in key markets, on the digital front Zee Bollywood is all set to create a cult following with its unique poster-art-meets-desi-dialogue-baazi executions across social platforms. Lowe Lintas has worked on the brand films, while Essence is the media AoR. 

Speaking at the event to announce the launch of Zee Bollywood, Ruchir Tiwari, Business Head, Zee Hindi Movies Cluster, and Prathyusha Agarwal, CMO, ZEEL, spoke about the genesis of Zee Bollywood, the stress on ‘masala’ cinema, content strategy for the new channel, the fate of Zee Classic and more. 

Why you have decided to pull the plug on Zee Classic?
Ruchir Tiwari: Zee Classic is not shut. As you are aware, getting the permission from the ministry for a new channel is a very slow process. On the other hand, the consumers’ demand for Bollywood was a very urgent one. There is a huge universe, where around 35-40 per cent of the viewers want purely Bollywood content. And, thus we saw it as a larger market to tap into. Now, since getting a new license is not that easy, we decided to use Zee Classic’s license to launch the new channel – Zee Bollywood. 

We are very soon going to apply for Zee Classic’s licence too. We plan to revamp and refresh our offering for Zee Classic, which will be more premium and niche and won’t be ad-supported. We also plan to have an on-demand version and are in talks with the DTH operators for this offering. 

Prathyusha Agarwal: For Classic, we have a very loyal viewer base that watches our content. To tap this viewer base, we are looking at a subscription model, besides we have our OTT platform ZEE5 where we can disperse the content. 

Why have you decided not to use dubbed content for Zee Bollywood?
Prathyusha Agarwal: It’s basically a misnomer. What I feel is that our viewers want Masala in the movies that they watch, if Hindi movies fail to give them that then they will definitely go to watch dubbed movies. With Zee Bollywood, we want to tell people that here is a channel that will bring pure masala, drama, romance and larger-than-life content for them. Hence, Zee Bollywood is all about 101% Shuddh Bollywood movies. 

How will the content for Zee Bollywood differ from that of the other movie channels in your bouquet?
Ruchir Tiwari: With Zee Bollywood, we will have sharper offerings. Sure, there will be an overlapping of movies sometimes, but as people begin to understand that this is their destination, then likeminded people will come here automatically, which will make the library fuller and more settled, which will give us good returns as well. The channel will be primarily for anyone who craves entertaining cinema. 

Prathyusha Agarwal: Zee Cinema is a house of blockbusters, but if anyone wants ‘filmoglobin’, then they have to come on Zee Bollywood for that kind of dose with the content library that it has. 

Will you air Zee Classic’s content on Zee Bollywood?
Ruchir Tiwari: Zee Cinema’s content can be viewed on Zee Anmol as well as ZEE5, and very soon it will be on air on the refreshed Zee Classic as well. However, you will find most of the movies like ‘Mard’ or ‘Ram Teri Ganga Maili’ on the new channel as well. 

Prathyusha Agarwal: We have updated the library for Zee Bollywood, which will comprise of movies from 1995 to the 2000s. 

You have the licence for Zee Classic HD...
Ruchir Tiwari: Yes, we have licence for Classic HD, but the biggest challenge is that a lot of the classic movies run on SD and we don’t have any source to convert them into HD. 

What kind of viewership are you expecting for Zee Bollywood?
Ruchir Tiwari: The idea is to maximise our viewership and reach with this new channel. I think this should go somewhere around 9-10 percentage share. 

What are the new movie acquisitions done for the channel?
Ruchir Tiwari: Our film acquisition strategy for the entire portfolio is very futuristic. Right now, buying is happening three-five years in advance. Therefore, we are in a very healthy space in terms of investment. Now, the lens is on the larger channel investment on fresh films and what are the renewals on the catalogues. We have a sharp strategy for all our channels. 

What kind of competition do the OTT platforms pose, since they, too, have been premiering the latest Bollywood films?
Prathyusha Agarwal: True, OTT players also air films. But I can’t find the masala Bollywood library. While they have been aggressively acquiring new content, will they be able to provide the whole ‘Bollywood experience’? On the other hand, we have a formidable library of over 3,500 movies.

Click here to read more related news.


News in the domain of Advertising, Marketing, Media and Business of Entertainment

More in Media