| 22 Feb 2024
Real story of Shemaroo's 168 hours long #FilmiGaaneAntakshari that entered Limca Book of Records

MUMBAI: There was a need to do something out of the box. To bring in a concept that would connect, yet be unique. This gave birth to the longest Antakshari #FilmiGaaneAntakshri at leading music label Shemaroo.

The basic concept was to do something exceptional that would create enough buzz around its newly developed app- Filmi Gaane. The team wanted to do something extraordinary to get enough downloads for their app. This is when the idea of playing ‘Antakshari’ popped up. But this wasn’t going to be just any antakshari, it was going to be the longest antakshari ever played and the first to be on Twitter.

The marketing plan sounded just right for Shemaroo’s retro video music app, but the execution was a challenge. This is when Kunal Wadhwani the Sr. Manager- digital marketing and social media at Shemaroo took it upon himself.

The Antakshari was going to last seven days on a digital medium – Twitter. Thus, the rules had to be put in place and so was a team.

Hence, over an antakshari mock run that went on for a month, the team created these rules.

Rule 1: The songs would be retro which meant - in or before the year 2000.

Rule 2: Use the #FilmiGaane  

Rule 3: One has to tag.

Rule 4: Anyone using Filmi Gaane app link had more chances of winning vouchers worth 100 rupees.

While making these rules, they also realised that the name of the songs would be written in English. Thus most of the songs would end with the letter ‘A’. Thus, to avoid lack of words they chose to go with Hindi syllables, like any other antakshari. “During our mock runs, we realised that a lot of things can go wrong. That is why we brought in place a robust process. We couldn’t have had issues cropping up during our antakshari. We realised about the letter during that. So, wherever the user would end the song we would announce the next letter as a Hindi syllable,” explained Wadhwani, who gave his team temporary designations to have a smooth flow of the longest antakshari and keep everyone motivated.

Here are the designations -

Chief Winner Officer – He/ she would check if the hashtag was used or not. Also keep a tab on the winners. So, that the same person does not keep winning. The maximum number of times that one person was allowed to win was 25 times in 24 hours. And also keep an eye on the blacklisted letters. 

 While researching for the antakshari, the team at Shemaroo had realised that there are a few Hindi letters that do not have too many songs. Thus, they blacklisted those words to ensure maximum participation. 

Chief Song Officer – Checked if the song had been used or not.  He/ she also updated the sheet on Facebook for the participants to check. Check the year of the song. The chief song officer had to also check if the song was in or before the year 2000.

Chief Handling Officer – Was responsible for announcing the winner. Tell the users the next letter. Build up the excitement. She/he was also the one tweeting from the handle.

Chief Response officer –The main job of this person was to answer the queries being asked by the participants.

 “The #FilmiGaaneAntakshari team was a mix of Shemaroo’s social media, Youtube and research team. We had 12 people working on the first four days, but we had to rope in more people by the end because the number of songs started decreasing and we needed more people to research,” confessed Wadhwani.

 At the end of the day, all the hard work paid off with Shemaroo creating not one but two Limca Book Records.

'Most Tweets in a Day'

'First and Longest Antakshari on Twitter'

When the Shemaroo team attempted the record, they weren’t hundred per cent sure about achieving it as there were many challenges. “We were wondering if we would be able to pull off a retro antakshari on a medium that is youth based – Twitter,” stated Wadhwani, saying he was surprised by the response received on day 1 and something that continued till Day 7.

He added, “Before starting the camping we had thought that we would announce a winner every 30 minutes and then shift the song. But, as soon as we announced the campaign we started getting 25 to 30 songs a minute. Thus, we decided on announcing a winner every five minutes and we continued to do that until the last day.”

Every five-minute a winner received a 100 rupees voucher and at the end of the campaign the grand prize winner; which is someone with the maximum number of participation in the entire tournament received 10,000 rupees.

However, Wadhwani believes that it was not just the gifts that lured the audience to participate. They found a personal connect and many even went on to tweet about the same on Shemaroo’s Twitter page.

Now, that’s some campaign. Congratulations team Shemaroo!