Television ratings may be the benchmark for any show’s success but in today’s times, social media platforms provide an alternative way to gauge first reactions to a television programme. And on this count, STAR India’s big ticket property, ‘Satyamev Jayate’, which also marked actor Aamir Khan’s television debut, seems to have struck the right chord with audiences.
The show was broadcast on nine channels including the likes of Star Plus, Star Utsav and DD National on Sunday, May 6, 2012. While the show ended at 12.30PM, social media users kept the conversation active for the rest of the day.
Satyamev Jayate, that some also write as SMJ in their conversations, was trending top on social networks. The show took anywhere between five to nine spots of top trending topics on Twitter. Many industry honchos updated their Twitter and Facebook status commenting and recommending the show.
Salt’s Co-Founder Mahesh Chauhan wrote: “Feel this show is a must-watch for all of us adwalas! We will know our true TG. Lot of us live in an unreal world. #satyamevjayate”
Not about the anchor, but the issue
Factors that worked for the show in its opening week were the concept, format and the issue that it took up in the first episode. Much of the feedback that the show garnered was on the issue of female foeticide, which was the focus in the first episode. Vikram Sakhuja, CEO, GroupM, South Asia tweeted: “Satyamev Jayate has the potential to bring out a social transformation. Strongly recommended viewing... and acting”
Nikhil Rungta, Country Marketing Head, Google India wrote: “#SatyamevJayate what a movement. Time to walk the talk. I am in it.”
Fashion photographer Atul Kasbekar tweeted: “The Sunday 11AM slot seems to have come back with a bang... #SatyamevJayate”
Some like Satbir Singh, Managing Partner and CCO, Euro RSCG India, who tweeted “Ok, now SMS Y to 5782711 so Rajasthan government should set up a fast track court to tackle female foeticide. #SatyamevaJayate”, even attempted to join in the action around the issue.
Ashok Lalla, Leader, Digital, Mindshare had a suggestion for the show: “How about a SatyamevJayate Foundation by Star & @aamir_khan that deploys ad revenues from the show for even greater support to real action?”
Sneha Rajani, EVP and Business Head, Sony Entertainment Television, tweeted: “I will say that Dil pe bahut lagi, Lekin baat banegi kya? And I am not talking about TRPs. It goes much beyond that.”
Conversations around the show and the issue were active for almost all of Sunday. A few other events such as Anna Hazare’s fast, Kolavari Di and Slapgate – when a mentally disturbed man slapped Union Minister Sharad Pawar in November last year – had garnered similar attention last year on social media platforms. But this is the first time when a television show has garnered this kind of reaction.
A well thought through effort
In the build-up to the show, there are over five video clips of the theme song on YouTube. These had received over two million views within three weeks of release. But the show added one more element in its first episode wrap-up. Swanand Kirkire and Ram Sampath brought the episode to an end with an Indian folk song. For many, this acted as a hook too. Minutes after the show ended, audio files of the song were made available online for download.
A media researcher tweeted: “The end was very Indian” and it too was discussed extensively on social media platforms. Within minutes, Swanand Kirkire was trending among top 10 Twitter trends for his song ‘O Ri Chiraiya’, which was also trending within a few hours.
‘Sayamev Jayate’ and Aamir Khan were the most discussed subjects on social media on Sunday. Other most-talked words were SMJ, SMS Y to 5782711, Star Plus, Female Foeticide, DD National and Reliance Foundation, all by-products of the same show.
Industry honchos comments on social media
Anand Mahindra, Vice Chairman and MD, Mahindra & Mahindra: “#SatyamevJayate: Aamir's biggest achievement is not being a 'man-who-would-be-messiah.' He’s just you and me recognising we are the solution.”
Vir Sanghavi, Columnist: “Congrats Aamir and Uday for proving that stars need not only do silly game shows. It took guts but u have pulled it off #satyamevjayate.” (Sic)
Rajdeep Sardesai, Editor-in-Chief, IBN18 Network: “Satyamev Jayate very good: Zindagi live, Real Heroes, India Positive, Citizen Journalist with Aamir as anchor! What more can one ask for!” (Sic)
Shailesh Rao, VP, International Operations, Twitter: “congrats @aamir_khan and those who worked w/ you for #SatyamevJayate. glad you shone spotlight on female infanticide. look fwd to next one.” (Sic)
LK Gupta, CMO, LG India: “It’s great that Amir Khan chose serious issues to do a TV show. It'll help. But please, no glorification! He is charging crores for this.” (Sic)
Cricket expert Harsha Bhogle: “I absolutely loved #satyamevjayate. at least aamir is doing what all of us only talk about.” (Sic)
Siddhartha Rao, Co-founder and CEO, Webchutney: “You got to give it to him. Aamir Khan rocked it. And a great idea to have it on Doordarshan at the same time.” (Sic)