Triton Communications’ new campaign created for Bloomberg TV India’s debate show – The Outsider – seeks to create differentiation by using shock value. The show is hosted by Tim Sebastian.
Each episode debates a key issue facing India with panellists who are ‘players’ rather than mere spectators to the issue. Spread across 13 debate topics that will be broadcast to 24 countries across four continents, ‘The Outsider’ will “showcase the future of India to the world”.
Sriram Kilambi, President, Bloomberg TV India shared, “The brief was to re-introduce Tim Sebastian to the Indian audience and remind them who he is; they probably knew him from the ‘Hard Talk’ days and may have heard of the Doha debates.”
Triton carried out a research on the relevance of debate shows and the main attraction, that is, Tim Sebastian; the research revealed that the viewer is not very enthused with yet another debate show. Moreover, it was revealed that Tim Sebastian was known only to a select few. Hence, it was essential “to broad base Tim and enthuse the viewer on the upcoming property”, said Kilambi.
This has been done over several stages, which include creating a brand around Tim Sebastian, introducing the debate topics and talking about specific debates. “And all this has been done in a tone and manner that is at once full of proper British sarcasm and play on the term ‘Outsider’,” Kilambi added.
The idea is to portray the ‘future of India to the world’ and the agency took off from there to present the ethos and scale of the show.
The series of ads present host Tim Sebastian as a ‘rabble rouser’ with headlines like - ‘We know what you did in the Middle East, Tim Sebastian. Now you’re targeting India’, ‘You have more on your mind than just a debate show. Don’t you, Mr Sebastain?’ The concept is extended by touching on topics that every Indian can identify with – ‘India is no place for women’, ‘Education is sinking India’, ‘Politics should no longer be a family business’, and so on.
Bringing about differentiation
On projecting Sebastian as a rabble rouser, Renton D’Souza, CEO and National Creative Director, Triton Communications explained, “In India, as much as we like to question the system, we get our backs up when an outsider does the same.”
Commenting on the campaign, Kilambi said, “With a debate in its classical form – like what you and I would have experienced in school and college, and with Tim Sebastian as the host, we have an ideal combination. A great debate moderated by a great moderator.”
Sandeep Srivastava, Group Business Director, Triton Communications said, “To promote a globally feted host, a contrarian approach has been adopted. But though we have a globally feted host and a debate in its pristine pure form, the challenge is to get the viewers involved by appealing to their sense of nationalism. After all, we are all for ‘Atithi Devo Bhavah’ as long as the ‘Athiti’ doesn’t question our harsh realities.”
Given the topics that impact every Indian, the TG is the pan Indian English speaking viewer. English channels on television are the primary medium to bring alive the proposition of the show. This is further reinforced with print media. Outdoor in Mumbai and NCR has been used as a reminder medium. Social media has been used to engage the youth and young professionals.
While the television commercials promote Sebastian by endorsing or disapproving his presence in India, the print and outdoor campaigns question his presence directly.
Agency: Triton Communications
CEO and National Creative Director: Renton D’Sousa
National Planning Director: Pankaj Arora
Group Business Director: Sandeep Srivastava
Creative: Shahrukh Dandiwala, Sonam Yethenpa, Atul Purohit and Dinesh Parab