Zee Cine Awards 2024 press conference shines bright!

Zee Cine Awards 2024 press conference shines bright!

The event took place at the JW Marriott Juhu on 26 February 2024.

Zee Cine Awards 2024

Mumbai: Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd, a prominent name in India's television, media, and entertainment landscape, is gearing up to revive the grand celebration of Bollywood with the return of the 'Maruti Suzuki Arena Presents 22nd Zee Cine Awards 2024.' Against the vibrant backdrop of an exhilarating 2023, a year marked by the resounding success of Indian cinema with blockbuster hits, the awards ceremony promises an evening of honoring the industry's finest achievements. This March, Mumbai will once again transform into the epicenter of Bollywood glamor, welcoming a constellation of stars including actors, directors, producers, and technicians for this eagerly awaited gala.

In an atmosphere exuding glamor, Bollywood actress Alia Bhatt, alongside Maruti Suzuki India's CMO & senior executive officer Shashank Srivastava and ZEEL's chief growth officer - advertising revenue Ashish Sehgal, unveiled the elegant trophy for the prestigious 'Maruti Suzuki Arena Presents 22nd Zee Cine Awards 2024’. The press conference was a nostalgic journey as actors Bobby Deol, Aparshakti Khurana, and Mouni Roy fondly reminisced about anecdotes and cherished moments from previous editions of this esteemed awards gala.

The kick-off event set pulses racing with the announcement of the performances by some of the most revered figures in the film fraternity, including Bhatt, Shahid Kapoor, Kriti Sanon, Ananya Panday, Bobby Deol, Ayushmann Khurrana, Mouni Roy, Utkarsh Sharma, Simrat Kaur, and more. Adding to the allure, the evening will be gracefully hosted by the charismatic duo of Ayushmann Khurrana and Aparshakti Khurana, with the irrepressibly witty Sunil Grover injecting moments of levity with his humor.

However, the crescendo of excitement reached its zenith when the curtain was lifted on the biggest surprise of the kickoff meet - the return of actor Shah Rukh Khan, who is poised to grace the Zee Cine Awards stage after a hiatus of nine long years.

Amidst the fervor of the event, Indiantelevision.com on the sidelines of the event, seized the opportunity to engage with.

Ashish Sehgal, Chief Growth Officer, Ad Revenue, Zee Entertainment Enterprises Limited and Ruchir Tiwari, Chief Cluster Officer, Hindi Movies, ZEE. During the interaction, they provided illuminating insights into the award show and beyond.

Edited excerpts

On Zee TV integrating digital platforms to maximize the reach and impact of Zee Cine Awards

Sehgal: Today we are very focused on how we are trying to build our reach not only in linear television, but also in the digital space. If you see social media, the entire meta ecosystem we had almost 150 million reach and almost 60 million followers across all our pages. That's a humongous amount of viewership, which no broadcaster had till date. However, we feel that there are many platforms like Meta, YouTube, etc, we know don't see them as competition, but more like our platforms. So the idea is how we can take our content to our consumers as much as possible? Hence, we have a proper strategy behind building viewership amongst all the platforms, whether it is telcos, whether it is YouTube ecosystem, or whether it is like a Meta ecosystem. So our digital presence is going to be quite formidable.

On the landscape of Hindi cinema influencing the execution of Zee Cine Awards

Tiwari: The Cinema cluster at ZEE holds a strategic commitment to recognizing and applauding exceptional cinema. Over our three-decade legacy, we have positioned ourselves as adept aggregators of quality films, spanning 8 languages across 17 channels. The Zee Cine Awards stands tall as our iconic initiative, dedicated to honouring the finest performances of the year.

Celebrating its 22nd edition, this year holds special significance against the backdrop of the uncertainties that loomed over Hindi cinema, following the challenges posed by Covid. It started with Pathaan, then came Gadar 2, Jawaan, and now Animal. Apart from these mega successes, there were incredible stories like  '12th Fail' , Mrs Chatterjee vs Norway and Sam Bahadur. This cinematic journey in 2023 has proven to be a transformative one, marked by a resurgence of joy as the industry got back its confidence and garnered a renewed appreciation and so much love from the audiences.

The narrative of 2023 unfolds as a narrative of comebacks, symbolizing the resurgence of Hindi cinema, the return of Shahrukh Khan, and the revival of the Deols. This thematic underpinning is integral to our presentation, encapsulated by our tagline, ‘Cinema Zindabaad’. It reflects our commitment to not only acknowledging excellence but also embracing the triumphs and resurgences that have defined the cinematic landscape this year.

On the strategies Zee TV employs to ensure sponsors receive tangible returns on their investment to the award show

Sehgal: Zee Cine Award is not just a one day event like how normally people perceive it. For us it's a festival for almost two and a half three months. We showcase the show across all our channels, and also various Hindi speaking markets whether it is Bhojpuri, whether it is Bangla, Marathi apart from all the Hindi channels and the free-to-air channels as well,  so that maximum reach happens on the show and the content is curated before and after also for the show. While there will be one day of the awards, prior to that we start building a lot of content which will be in promoting but at the same time facilitating or you know kind of showcasing what you are going to see during that one day. So Zee Cine Award is always a culmination of the award. Now having said that, how does it help the sponsors? Sponsors do get mileage across these three months, so they can actually build their whole campaigns around this show. Secondly, these sponsors do not just run their inventory there, we create a lot of content for the sponsors within the show. There is a lot of customisation of the brand's energy along with our shows . We create moments within the show and before the show, which helps advertisers build their message within that. It's a 360 degree, where they get a lot of mileage in ground presence and for Maruti we do dealer visits with our stars who would go and promote the listing in the dealership etc.

On Zee Cinema envisioning the future of award shows in the era of digital platforms

Tiwari: Content is always platform-agnostic, it inherently transcends platforms, seamlessly adapting to both linear broadcasting and OTT channels. The beauty lies in its universal accessibility, reaching audiences regardless of the medium. The overarching objective is to maximize viewership.

Sehgal: TV gives you the highest reach. But at the same time digital will become an engagement partner for us before the show. As I said, we will use your social media for engaging, remoting bytes of the stars when they're coming, then the whole content will be also showcased on digital platforms like our Zee5 and later on to YouTube etc. So we use platforms now to take the content to as many people as possible. We are creating content which is platform agnostic.

Tiwari: Few properties exhibit a natural compatibility across all mediums. Notably, in non-fiction and event categories, award functions exemplify the synergy between digital and linear domains. They thrive in the digital realm, presenting a seamless blend that resonates well with audiences on both fronts.