"Wake Up to Bollywood" Brings an Indian Film Block to a Major U.S. Cable Network for the First Time
New York, NY, July 23, 2009 – Esurance, the direct-to-consumer personal auto insurance company, is pleased to announce that it will be a sponsor of Bollywood entertainment across channels with IFC and Saavn, the world’s largest digital distributor of Bollywood entertainment.
The deal includes a 13-week sponsorship of "Wake Up to Bollywood," a special presentation of Bollywood films airing each Sunday morning at 10 AM, ET/PT, exclusively on IFC. Esurance will sponsor the block on key Sundays from August 30 to December 20. "Wake Up to Bollywood" represents the first time that a block of Indian films will be aired on a major network in the U.S. and will bring the genre to millions of homes. IFC worked with Saavn to curate the block and selected a variety of Hindi films from independents to Bollywood blockbusters. For a complete list of films and trailers, please visit: http://www.ifc.com/wakeup-to-bollywood/.
"This is an exciting venture for IFC and for our loyal viewers who are always hungry for the latest content available in the independent film world," said Kim Gabelmann, Senior Vice President, Partnerships and Branded Entertainment, IFC and Sundance Channel. "This weekly block of Bollywood movies taps into the current zeitgeist and brings the programming to U.S. television for the first time ever. Esurance and Saavn are terrific partners and we’re happy to work with them on this sponsorship."
In addition to the film block, Esurance is currently hosting the Bollywood Casting Call, a digital casting call to help find the next co-star for Esurance’s animated ad icon, Erin Esurance. Visitors to http://www.esurance.com/Bollywood have the chance to enter the Esurance Bollywood Casting Call Contest by submitting videos of re-enactments of favorite Bollywood movie scenes. The winning entrant will star in an Esurance Bollywood music video that will premiere in September on IFC during a "Wake Up to Bollywood" film.
"We’re delighted to be a part of history in bringing Indian films to the U.S., showcasing the excellent films coming out of India with a wider American audience," said Melissa Chapman, Brand and Public Relations Manager, Esurance. "Our Bollywood Casting Call contest is a fun, innovative way to get people involved with Bollywood, our brand, and our great partners."
"This is an incredible example of a major U.S. brand aligning with Bollywood audiences," said John DeMarchi, EVP, Sponsorship and Distribution for Saavn. "It allows Esurance to connect with the core South Asian audience for Bollywood in addition to a growing fan base that is so passionate about the films. Entertainment is truly a great way to aggregate audiences."
Operating under the mantra "always, uncut," IFC (The Independent Film Channel) recommends and creates genre-bending content that indulges the alternative culture obsessions of our influential audience and makes it available across multiple platforms: on-air, online and On Demand. In pursuit of what’s new, next and relevant, IFC creates original non-traditional comedies like The Whitest Kids U’ Know and Z Rock and irreverent non-fiction such as The IFC Media Project. IFC’s original programming airs alongside a comprehensive independent film library of award-winning titles and cult classics, as well as content inspired by music, web, gaming, animation, news, culture and more. IFC broadens the audience for independent culture through its exclusive live coverage of notable film and music events like the Independent Spirit Awards and South by Southwest. The network’s On Demand offering, IFC Free, gives audiences the opportunity to watch premieres of all of IFC’s original series before they air on the linear network. IFC Media Lab Studios offers financing, professional development and distribution opportunities for aspiring film makers. IFC is a subsidiary of Rainbow Media Holdings LLC.
Saavn brings the best of Bollywood and Indian entertainment to the world. As the largest digital distributor in Bollywood, Saavn owns the digital rights to hundreds of movies, more than 250,000 music tracks, 20,000 music videos, and 10,000 ringtones. Saavn programs, packages and distributes its exclusive catalog and new Bollywood releases to more than 75 global media companies including Time Warner Cable, Cablevision, NetFlix, Verizon Wireless and Apple’s iTunes. Saavn is a joint venture of MEDIA and Hungama Mobile, and the company has offices in Mumbai, London, New York, Los Angeles, and Toronto. To find out more, visit: http://www.saavn.com.
Esurance, a subsidiary of White Mountains Insurance Group, Ltd. (NYSE: WTM), provides personal auto insurance direct to consumers online and through select online agents. Esurance is dedicated to constantly improving the way people shop for, buy, and manage their auto insurance. By combining the best of technology with industry know-how, Esurance is able to offer hassle-free coverage with 24/7 customer service and claims handling at competitive prices.
Esurance has differentiated itself with its animated advertising campaign featuring the iconic cartoon secret agent, Erin Esurance. The advertisements have garnered attention for their unique use of Flash animation, and, in 2008, live action elements featuring real customers. Visitors to Esurance’s award-winning Web site can view all the auto insurance company’s unique user-generated content promotions at http://www.esurance.com