Over the last year, online gaming has witnessed exponential growth across M&E. Various industry reports have cited it as a natural winner with the next generation of entertainment being all about immersion and engagement. With a whopping 433Mn gaming enthusiast as of FY21, India stands as the second-largest country in the online gaming universe. Increasingly, brands too are leveraging the medium to further engage with their audience and build affinity. In a first, OptimiZEE, the social content hub at ZEE, has rolled out a first-of-its-kind endless front runner game on web, ‘Happu Ki Nikali Savaari’ for ZEE’s marquee show ‘Happu Ki Ultan Paltan’ airing on &TV and streaming on ZEE5. Being a vernacular offering, this innovation by the broadcaster truly democratizes gaming by broadening reach to a wider audience pool spread across many Bharats.
Poised to be a first hypercasual game in the series of web-based games envisaged across popular Zee shows, ‘Happu Ki Nikali Savaari’ offers a sophisticated and high-quality experience of app on web. Being device agnostic, the same can be accessed through any smartphone. For gamers who crave an experience in vernacular languages, the game truly serves as the perfect platform to step into the shoes of their favourite TV character in a virtual world through a game that’s fun, uncomplicated and exciting. Combining the might of ZEE’s reach and synergy with broadcast and social, the innovation will be amplified across social media, on-air and digital platforms of &TV and ZEE5.
Through the lens of an advertiser, online gamers are engaged audiences, driven by their deep interest making it suitable for a non-invasive brand presence in a preferred environment. A recent study points to how 74% of Indian gamers prefer to watch ads over in-app purchases when looking to progress in a game. They also boast of a high ad recall with 60% being able to recall an ad seen in or during a game. Thus, gaming today truly serves as a key touchpoint for brands looking to maximize impact with online gamers being core to their audience strategy. OptimiZEE’s launch of hypercasual games truly offers brands a chance to reach out to a highly engaged and invested audience through a unique experience via a plethora of in-game branded solutions such as programmatic ads, custom games for brands, leader board branding among others.
Speaking about the same, Kartik Mahadev, Head, OptimiZEE, ZEE said, “Our audience is continuously engaging with the compelling stories and their popular characters at Zee and this engagement is growing across screens and formats. Gaming is one such format which has witnessed significant growth and is no longer limited to serious gamers alone. The OptimiZEE solutions team along with the content teams and the tech partners worked in quick time to develop this format to engage with fans of Happu. It required that we delved into the world of Happu to pick attributes that would suit the gaming format and give the fans an enjoyable gaming experience. The team chose a web-based solution for greater access to fans of the show. This is just the first of many solutions that we hope will delight our audience. It will create value to our customers as well as brands are looking for innovative ways to interact with consumers. Over the course of last year, casual gaming has truly made its way from the basement to the boardrooms. The solutions in the pipeline will offer brands in-game integrations to engage with the immersed audience.”
Talking about this new initiative, Vishnu Shankar, Business Head, &TV said, “The pot-bellied Daroga Happu Singh has made our viewers laugh like no other. His incredible comic timing, Kanpuria quirks and dialect make him an audience favourite. Given his mass appeal and with viewers who are always craving new opportunities to engage with their beloved television characters, launching ‘Happu Ki Nikali Savaari’, a hyper-casual game, was a natural step for us. The game will enable his fans to immerse themselves into a whole new exciting world of Happu Singh. We at &TV are extremely proud of the fact that Happu Singh is the first character across the ZEE Bouquet on whom a game has been developed.”
Yogesh Tripathi, ‘Daroga Happu Singh’ in &TV’s ‘Happu Ki Ultan Paltan’ said, “You all have loved Daroga Happu Singh, his oil-slicked hair that perfectly twirls on his forehead, his goofy paan-stained grin that highlights his atypical moustache to his typical Kanpuria one-liners – Niyocchavar Kar Do, Arrey Dada, Gurde Chheel Denge. Now you have another reason to rejoice and get entertained at your fingertips. Happu Ki Ultan Paltan was a dream come true for me and now, to be immortalised in the form of a gaming character fills my heart with immense gratitude. I am sure our hypercasual game will add several moments of laughter and fun to fans’ lives. I hope our fans will shower the same love and affection to ‘Happu Ki Nikali Savaari’ as they have for ‘Happu Ki Ultan Paltan’ and keep enjoying both the show and play the game too.”
As part of the promotions, fans are invited to participate in an exciting contest on social. All you need to do is play the game and post your leader-board scores via a simple login on Facebook. Highest scorers for the week will receive a shoutout from &TV and one winner at the end of the month to win an exclusive chance for a meet and greet with Happu himself!