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Pix gives Bond movies a Sania Mirza twist

MUMBAI: Multi Screen Media’s English movie channel Pix will show all 23 Bond movies over a three-month period. The films will air every Saturday at 7 and 9 pm this week onwards. Called ‘Pix School of Bonding’, the initiative has roped in tennis player Sania Mirza to promote the same.

Sony Pix, AXN executive VP, business head Saurabh Yagnik said that there were two challenges. “Our aim was to create relevance for the Bond movies. Most of our viewers are below the age of 35. They might not be aware of the older movies. After all, the Bond franchise is over 50 years old. The other challenge was to push the Bond series an innovative, clutter-breaking way given that these films have aired before on other English movie channels.

“In the past, channels that aired the Bond films have focused on gadgets, gizmos and women. We did research and data mining to find out what makes Bond appealing even after 50 years. We found that the evergreen attitude of Bond is what appeals. The fact is that things like gadgets, gizmos are transient in nature. We wanted our viewers to learn about the Bond way of life from a woman’s perspective. The easiest thing to have done was to rope in a film star, but we wanted something disruptive that would differentiate us. Sania is young and glamorous. We have put her in a never-seen-before avatar. Our aim is to grow sampling.”

He added that conceptualising the campaign took over three months. “It is the most that we have ever spent on a marketing campaign. We have shot videos with Sania where she gives lessons on the Bond way to a woman’s heart. The production of these videos is of the highest quality. She gives tips on how men can woo their way to a woman’s heart. Through the campaign we have sought to amplify Bond’s style, charisma and, most importantly, the evergreen attitude that makes him the Ultimate Man. Having Sania on board blended with the Pix philosophy of ‘Wow, cool and with a twist’.”

Each Saturday an old Bond movie will air along with a more recent one. Yagnik noted that the daily strip of Bond movies has already been done by other English movie channels. A weekly strategy is something different for audiences.

Mirza said that she is a die-hard Bond fan and loves watching movies. “Sony Pix’s School of Bonding is a great way to show my love for both. Besides when I received the brief and learnt of my character as a Bond trainer, I was completely ecstatic. My favourite Bond is Pierce Brosnan and my favourite Bond film is ‘Casino Royale’. Bond is a cult figure. I was able to do something out of my comfort zone. The campaign has come at the end of the tennis season.”

In one video she talks about how Bond can fit into any clothes whether it is a suit or a T-shirt.

In addition to the MSM network, digital and print mediums will also be used in the campaign. On digital, webisodes have been created that are 23 seconds long. This will cover things like car chases and kisses.

Yagnik noted that in the past even Sean Connery movies have rated well. “Apart from Daniel Craig’s three films, all the Pierce Brosnan films have fared well. Having said that, people also want to see Sean Connery. That is the good thing of pairing a new film with an older one. A young person who is familiar with Daniel Craig but not so much with Sean Connery will get the chance to do so. Chances are that young people might not have seen all the Sean Connery films. So when they see a Daniel Craig film, they will be excited and want to go back and watch older movies with the other Bond actors.”