In a deal that takes product integration in content to the next level, all ringtones on the K-serials of STAR Plus would play the Idea proprietary ringtone beginning December 18, 2006. Idea’s Chief Marketing Officer, Pradeep Srivastava, wasn’t willing to reveal the period till which the deal is expected to go on, but he did inform that the integration would take place across the week. Sources, however, indicated that this was a 26-week deal.
The most commonly quoted example when STAR Entertainment delved into product placement was of a telecom entity branding all cellphones or an auto major branding all cars in a show. Speaking in an earlier interview, STAR Entertainment’s CEO, Sameer Nair, had explained that integration of this nature would mean no intrusion to the viewer and yet be a significant exposure to the advertiser.
The idea has finally been bought by Idea Cellular under the guidance of their agency Insight. The shows in which the integration would take place include ‘Kasautii Zindagii Kay’, ‘Karam Apnaa Apnaa’, ‘Kahaani Ghar Ghar Kii’, ‘Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi’ and ‘Kahiin Toh Hoga’. Needless to say, these are some of the best rated properties on television at present.
Srivastava said, “Product integration has been happening in cinema for a long time now and it has very recently picked up on television as well. We have a great relation with STAR Entertainment and in this case, the brand is relevant to the property and the producers of the show saw merit in taking this initiative forward without marring the show in any way for the viewer. I think the timing was just right for everything and the deal clicked.”
Insight’s Sai Nagesh said, “I believe this is the biggest ever content integration in the country. This is the best example of a brand non-intrusively making its place on a programme and we have managed to take the best.” Insight also played a key role in a non-TV client like UTI Mutual Funds to be one of the first sponsors to sign on KBC this year.
On the Idea-STAR deal, sources informed that the parties involved had discussed nitty-gritties like how much of the Idea ringtone should be heard in the shows, but Srivastava felt, “There is no point if the show is not enjoyed by the viewer, so we will be careful in being non-intrusive in this placement. Also, I think channels are bound by their domestic policy of how much and how relevant is the integration for the viewer, so there should be no complaints on that.”
Nagesh asserted that the placement would be in the right proportion and added, “We are delighted that Insight works with a client like Idea Cellular, who bought into this idea, and we believe that this is an initiative that will help Idea attain leadership in every facet of the telecom business because Idea stands for innovation.”