Do pre-release star appearances work?

25 Sep,2012


By Meghna Sharma


What is common between Kareena Kapoor and Bipasha Basu? The answer is: CID. Yes, both the actors were rescued by none other than our very own team of ACP Pradyuman and his agents.


Today, seeing actors on television is not a surprise. Most of them can be seen on the small screen as hosts or judges on reality shows. However, in the recent past one has seen them play a character or themselves in fictional shows where the plot of an episode is scripted around them. And the two actors are the latest to join the bandwagon of various other actors who have made a “special appearance” on the small screen to promote their upcoming film.


Dinesh Rathore

According to Dinesh Rathore, COO, Madison Media Omega, the difference between the big screen and the small screen faded away in the last decade as superstars entered the medium. “Actors making an appearance on television is a win-win situation for both. Television has vast reach so actors get to promote their films, and a channel can save money if the actor appears on their shows to promote his/her film.”


He’s not alone, even broadcasters which are competing with each other to get the stars to their channel before others do also feel the same. Vivek Bahl, Chief Creative Director, Sony Entertainment Television says, “Big fiction shows with a dedicated & measurable viewer base is a great platform for an actor to promote his / her upcoming film with the show. And, for the show itself, one can always create buzz and sampling with the

Vivek Bahl

anticipation of a star appearance.”


On the same note, Ajay Bhalwankar, ZEEL’s Content Head (Hindi GECs) feels that fiction shows are the staple diet of any General Entertainment Channel and the presence of a Bollywood celebrity is woven into the existing storyline of the fiction show, hence increasing the chances of a better recall. “As a medium TV cannot be ignored by marketers.”


Prashaant Bhatt

“Be it with a Jhalak Dikhhala Jaa or Madhubala, the audience for each show is varied and this is what works in favour of the movie that is promoted on the show,” explains Prashaant Bhatt, Weekday Programming Head of Colors, who believes that the trend is only going to move forward. “It is vital for any promotional activity to be present on all the mediums that helps them connect with the viewer. So, in the future, the trend could possibly be digital with the introduction of various apps etc, anywhere the audience/moviegoer is.”



Shailesh Kapoor

However, Shailesh Kapoor, CEO of Ormax Media feels that film star presence on fiction shows helps the films more than the channels. But the channels can use the stars in the promos and create buzz around it. It can give a viewership spike only if the star does something really interesting in the show. “In a recent study conducted by us, television emerged as the driver of both reach and appeal for film campaigns, way ahead of print and outdoor. I believe that channels should start charging film producers for such integrations, the way they charge advertisers.”



Priti Murthy

If both stars and broadcasters are winners here, Priti Murthy, National Director – Insights at Maxus India adds that viewers too don’t have much to lose out on. “I think even viewers win here as they get to see new faces or a new plot in their regular shows. Also, stars appearing on shows is a global phenomenon; in the west, stars appear on shows like Saturday Night Live.”


It appears no one has anything to lose here!


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