Samrat Ghosh and Amarpreet Singh Saini chat with MediAvataar India on the ocassion of Zee Biskope second anniversary.
Here is the complete interaction...
1. How has been the overall growth journey of Zee Biskope so far?
Samrat Ghosh: We launched ZEE Biskope in 2020 as the first curated Bhojpuri movie channel in the category. We believed in serving novelty and innovation at every step as we noticed that the viewer was ready to be treated with elevated offerings in the category but was being under-served. Our No.1 status since launch and numerous viewership as well as award winning initiatives since then are an endorsement that we are on the right path.
Amarpreet Singh Saini: We continued this legacy in 2021 as well with the launch of original non fiction series on a movie channel, novel movie bands viz. Hollywood Tadka where we showcased Hollywood movies dubbed in Bhojpuri/ Hindi and Biskope Talkies where we showcased nostalgic golden era titles, the viewers instantly showed their attention and intention to be more deeply associated with ZEE Biskope. Even in our marketing initiatives we went beyond our marquee ventures and brought emotionally enriched offerings viz. Tu Chinta Mat Kar Mai and Vratin Key Sahai Bani Chathi Mayi which saw an overwhelming response and respect towards the brand. The continuous pushing of the envelope on newness in the category stands vindicated of the viewers growing appetite to move beyond the commoditized approach in the category and to being served in a more customized and standardized manner, thus ensuring our continuing leadership in the category.
2. Being a movie plus channel Zee Biskope has also focussed on consumer engagement campaigns. Please elaborate on the campaigns done in the year.
Amarpreet Singh Saini: ZEE Biskope is a movie+ brand that serves Bhojpuri entertainment beyond the magic of movies in an authentic, consumer led space with novelty at its core. In an endevour to do so, the channel has made viewer engagement as a conscious pillar of the brand. Starting from the very first year, ZEE Biskope has created category first Marketing campaigns primarily on three pillars: talent platforms, technological innovation & rooted emotional quotient. Talent Camera Action has been a marquee initiative that received huge response in its first season and multi-fold response in its second. Similarly, Kamariya Kare Hip Hop witnessed the introduction of rap in mainstream Bhojpuri entertainment in its first season and an Instagram innovation in its second. Emoji Lahariya & Labhlitis Messiah have achieved humungous success with the tech novelty it offered through Instagram filter and artificial intelligence. Whereas Litti Chokha Diwas, Tu Chinta Mat Kar Maai & Vratin Ke Sahae Bani Chhati Maai left a rooted and emotional impact among viewers bringing them closer to the brand where they can feel the apnapan or affinity and thereby develop brand love. The closer we get to the viewers, the better we understand them and hence the better we cater to their content preferences.
3. What are the notable viewer campaigns for 2021 and their impact?
Amarpreet Singh Saini: After an overwhelming response in the first season, we launched the second season of Talent Camera Action on Camera Day – 29 June. This time it was with far bigger a gratification: winners got direct entry into Bhojiwood through ZEE Biskope originals. The campaign also witnessed association with popular Bhojpuri celebrity Yash Kumar & Nidhi Jha. The response was almost 2.5 times the first season. We received such quality entries that we had to telecast them across two weeks instead of one.
The other notable campaign has been Tu Chinta Mat Kar Maai which was ZEE Biskope’s first attempt to go the emotional impact way for a social cause. Marrying the topical occasion of Mother’s Day with the need of the hour – pandemic awareness, the campaign paced Emotional Quotient (EQ) over Intelligence Quotient (IQ). We urged viewers to promise their mothers that they will take care of themselves following every COVID 19 safety precautions like wearing masks, using sanitizers, washing your hand with soap and so on. It imparted the feeling of affirmation in your mother that no matter wherever you are, you’re taking every possible measure to be safe during the tough times. The campaign received huge response reaffirming the fact that emotional association works well in the category.
We also launched the second season Kamariya Kare Hip Hop, however, this time with a novel Instagram feature: Reel Remix. We developed an animated dance video of our digital mascots Bhaiyaji & Gamchaji dancing to the title track of Kamariya Kare Hip Hop. Viewers had to do a reel remix with the mascots and the best won not just an opportunity to be featured on TV but lacs of cash prizes and gift hampers from ZEE Biskope. This novelty was again pretty well received by the audience.
4. What things you keep in mind while formulating the marketing strategies considering the audience is from regional heartland?
Amarpreet Singh Saini: The marketing initiatives inculcate the local nuances making it relevant and appealing to the category. For eg., Bonding with Mother is a strong emotional
pulse amongst Indians and more so in Bhojpuri milieu where people are highly driven by the mother figure be it in real life or reel life, in movies or in devotional space. Mothers are the epitome of love and care. She’s always concerned about our wellbeing and safety. Taking this nuance into consideration we developed Tu Chinta Mat Kar Maai on Mother’s Day that invited viewers to pledge and affirm their Mother that they will take care of themselves in the pandemic. Also, our first Chhat Puja on-ground initiative Vratin Ke Sahae Bani Chhati Maai gave a platform for viewers to pray for their Vratins – the mothers or grandmothers in the family who keep a 36-hr long fast for the well being of the family.
Given national platforms are not always accessible to all, regional initiatives like Talent Camera Action & Kamariya Kare Hip Hop empower audience with a local platform to showcase their talent and get recognized. The responses to these initiatives show that there is hunger in the category and ZEE Biskope is definitely a thought leader in pioneering the same.
5. How has been the response from national brands when it comes to advertising with regional channels? Do you see any shift from hyper local brands?
Samrat Ghosh: Zee Biskope is build on the premise of curation, which extends to its esteemed partners as well. Pandemic has compelled brands to establish strong value proposition for acceptance and ZEE Biskope has created customised solutions for brands to help them establish their value parameters sharply amongst its target audience.
Many prominent national brands have associated with us through the last two years. Brands like Nestle, Adani Group, Parle have associated with us in the past and continue to do so. In the festive season this year, we had Emami Kesh King partnering with us for the Chhath Puja special premieres, Shree Cement sponsoring the romantic afternoon movie slot Labhlitis and Cavinkare associating for our primetime band Fattam Fight.
6. The year has been quite an eventful one with the channel winning a lot of awards for different campaigns. Share some details on the same.
Samrat Ghosh: ZEE Biskope has received 93 Marketing Awards across multiple national & international forums in about 13 months. The brand has been again the first in the category to achieve such a feat. It’s encouraging to see that our passion to bring alive the vibrant Bhojpuri culture through our hyperlocal offerings is being recognized in such esteemed forums.
Amarpreet Singh Saini: The brand has received a wide array of awards right from the channel to its campaigns, its content marketing and even individual awards. When these initiatives receive awards, it’s an endorsement of what we believe in ZEEL at being native to the region that we cater to and of our firm conviction about Bhojpuri deserving the stature that is due to it.
7. Zee Biskope claims to be the category leader in the Bhojpuri genre. How would you differentiate with your competitors?
Samrat Ghosh: ZEE Biskope has launched so many category first initiatives that today no other channel stands even remotely close to mimicking its success and connect with the viewers. Within a span of just two years not only the brand claimed viewership leadership since the day of launch but also became a stand out beacon of everything extraordinary in the Bhojpuri category for the viewers. The sheer volume of participation and resultant incremental reach on our platform with each of our engagement initiatives is a testimony of our undisputed lead in the hearts of Bhojpuri viewers.
8. What can we expect from Zee Biskope in 2022? / Expansion plans for 2022?
Amarpreet Singh Saini: ZEE Biskope will continue to create new landmarks in the Bhojpuri category through its innovative and novelty driven approach. The firm belief in consumer centricity and the cause of elevating Bhojpuri viewership beyond mere passive entertainment will see 2022 as ZEE Biskope making foray into original in-house movies, original content, awards IP and some novel movie bands/ genres for our viewers. The engagement initiatives will witness significant presence of on-ground initiatives as well alongwith on-line initiatives given the ground situation returning to normalcy – thus bringing some out of the box accessibility initiatives alongwith marquee properties of ZEE Biskop will adorn the next year.