When was the last time the words ‘World Television Premiere’ excited you? You probably can’t remember. But for the world television premiere of Tollywood star Pawan Kalyan’s latest flick, Vakeel Saab, fans couldn’t contain their excitement.
Vakeel Saab is the Telugu remake of the 2016 Hindi film, Pink, which had Amitabh Bachchan in the lead. The theatrical release of the film took place in April, and it was released on an OTT platform shortly after.
Despite the initial release and being available to stream online for months, fans were thrilled about the world television premiere of the blockbuster.
When ZEE Telugu got the rights to broadcast the film on television, the team had only two weeks leading up to the premiere for any kind of promotion. The challenge was to create a sensational campaign that would reach the maximum number of people in the most effective way in a short span of time.
And they did so, by harnessing the star power of Pawan Kalyan – executing a cleverly crafted campaign that was built upon the craze for the actor.
It started with a surprise announcement. On July 4th at 12 AM, the team dropped a bomb, announcing that Vakeel Saab’s TV premiere would soon be on Zee Telugu. However, the team kept the date and time of the premiere from the people. This left movie enthusiasts and Pawan Kalyan fans both excited and confused, and hungry for more information.
The next day, the channel aired a series of teasers – edited strategically to capture the most exciting parts of the movie, creating a huge buzz among fans. Many were already beginning to applaud all the effort that was going into the channel’s promotions.
People were excited already, but ZEE had more in store. For the first time ever, it put the fans to work, asking them to guess the date and time of the premiere. This generated a huge buzz on Twitter, and got hundreds of conversations going on the microblogging site. When the date and time was finally revealed, it was all people could talk about for a whole week.
Apart from online promotion, ZEE Telugu also took Vakeel Saab to the streets of Telangana. On Hyderabad’s famous Necklace Road that is lined with graffiti, the channel installed a massive 40-feet tall canvas with graffiti, which became the talk of the town owing to its strategic location.
But it wasn’t just city dwellers who were excited. The fervour had reached villages too, where a man was spotted beating a drum announcing the details of the premiere and encouraging fellow villagers to tune in. The hype was real, and all of this was organic.
వకీల్ సాబ్ సినిమా ప్రీమియర్ సందర్భంగా మాకు ఇంతటి అభిమానాన్ని చూపుతున్న ప్రేక్షక దేవుళ్లందరికి మా హృదయపూర్వక ధన్యవాదాలు 🙏
Let's make it big ✊🏽
— ZEE TELUGU (@ZeeTVTelugu) July 18, 2021
In a time where OTT dominates cinema, the Vakeel Saab World Television Premiere became an event that brought back the times of television rivalry and showcased the power and impact of an excellent marketing campaign.
On the day of the release, the #VakeelSaabWatchingNowParty was the biggest celebration on the internet from 6 PM to 9 PM. Twitter was flooded with chatter surrounding the movie, with thousands of videos, photos and memes being shared online by fans. It was complete mania.
— PawanKalyan FC™|| 9394022222 (@PspkHolic) July 18, 2021
— Trend PsPk (@Trendpspk__) July 18, 2021
ZEE Telugu’s most anticipated world television premiere ended up garnering a mammoth of a 19.12 TV Rating, proving that a well executed marketing campaign can work wonders for television even while OTT entertainment is all the rage.
— Divya Sri ™ (@Divya__Official) July 18, 2021
Vakeel Saab dominated India trends on Twitter three times, and an additional fourth time on ratings day, which is unusual for a movie so long after its theatrical release, all thanks to a campaign that truly understood and knew how to leverage its audience.