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Sholay + Phoolan Devi = Zee Cinema
Sanjay Krishnan in Mumbai
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May 19, 2005

Seen the Zee Cinema television commercial Paap Ka Anth, being aired only on the Zee bouquet of channels? An interesting take off on a Sholay + Phoolan Devi combine the ad attempts to equate Hindi cinema to Zee Cinema.

Read on to know all about the making of the commercial.

The second in our new series, Ad of the Week:

Part 1: Who's that guy in the Indica ad?

This is an advertisement with a difference. Different, because one, it promotes only Zee Cinema and consequently it is aired only on Zee bouquet of channels. But what the heck - it is popular, has won two prestigious awards, and its popularity curve seems to be going up.

The advertisement, created by FCB Ulka, recreates almost successfully the Sholay effect of dacoits, ravines, desolate villages and hapless villagers until Zee Cinema happens!!!.

The story line is kept very simple and told through a narrator or a 'sutradhar' played by Vijay Raaz.

Yes! the same actor who got caught by the United Arab Emirates police authorities in the recent past. Raaz plays the role of a village teacher and one day while taking class the dacoits attack the village.

A girl student of the school is abducted by the leader of the dacoits but a surprising change of heart ensures that he (the leader) becomes very affectionate towards the girl. The leader's effeminate ways does not go down well with the other dacoits and he is promptly killed.

The poor girl now becomes the moll and soon enough a la Phoolan Devi (actress Sunita resembles her) takes over the reins of the entire gang. Returning to her village she confronts her teacher, an old looking Raaz, and demands an explanation for her lot and he in turn gifts her a television set. The television set ensures that the moll turned dacoit starts watching Zee Cinema and very soon gives up her plunderous ways, starts a dance school (Champa Devi Nritya Shala) and also terrorises all her male band members into learning dance.

India's first two-minute thriller ends with the line 'Pichle naun saal se gaon ka bacha bacha jaanta hain, ki Zee Cinema matlab Movies, Masti, Magic'

The entire ad according to Nitin Karkare, chief operating officer, of FCB Ulka, Mumbai was shot over two days across four locations in and around Gingee and Thiruvanamalai in Tamil Nadu.

"The message that the advertisement intended to convey was very simple. Zee Cinema = Hindi Cinema," Karkare points out. The ad film was directed by Rajesh Krishnan of 'Foot Candles' while the sets were created by the famous Saboo Cyril.

The last line and the accent on 'Pichle naun saal' also ensures that people know that for the last nine years Zee has been the leader in the Hindi cinema category.

"We wanted to convey the power that the cinema has and the tremendous influence it wields over people," Karkare points out. The ad was popular enough to corner an ABBY Gold in 2005 and a RAPA award for best script.

Where was it shot - at four locations in and around Gingee & Thiruvannamalai in Tamil Nadu

Name of the actress - Sunita

Name of the actor - Vijay Raaz

Tag line - India's first 2-minute thriller

Director - Rajesh Krishnan

Set designer More Specials
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