The premium lifestyle channel Living Foodz has consistently pushed the boundaries of food and entertainment since its launch in September 2015. With shows like Ranveer’s Café (which has a blend of food and music), it has come out with a new ambitious property called ‘Ganga-The Soul of India,’ scheduled to launch on May 1. Actress Dia Mirza, who makes her small screen debut with this show, will explore all that the river has to offer, including the people, history, mythology, anthropology, adventure, music and cuisine.
Speaking about the new show, Amit Nair, Business Head of Living Foodz, said, “It’s a travel and food show which connects dots like culture, mythology, spirituality and adventure. It’s an inward journey into our heritage.”
Though Nair can’t reveal the money pumped into the show, he definitely indicates that it’s ‘significantly higher’ from what they generally spend. “This is because we have made this show from a global perspective. As a network we want to go abroad,” says Nair. For the show ‘Ganga-The Soul of India,’ the channel has roped in Airtel and Samsonite as presenting and key sponsors respectively.
Right blend of marketing
Nair is banking on the channel’s digital arm and TV to market the show. “For this show our main focus is digital and television. The latter takes up the major chunk of marketing spends and gives it the reach while digital helps it connect to the right audience. Also, our engagement levels are high on social media. When it comes to a show like this, we focus on YouTube-led innovation and Digital ideas are specific to the show and will be video-driven,” he adds.
Elaborating on the channel’s marketing strategy, Nair confesses on focusing on niche marketing that consists of on-ground activities. He gives an example, “In last four-five months we partnered with seven-eight food festivals, which helped us reach the right kind of audience, who are not only food enthusiasts but also watch our channels.” Being part of the Zee also helps. “We do cross promotion across the network and that gives us a huge advantage in terms of reaching out to our audiences,” he points out.
Speaking about the programming line-up for 2016, Nair mentions, “We have a clear strategy to launch a tent-pole every quarter. So ‘Ganga’ is one of the tent-poles of the first quarter. So for the next three quarters we have things lined up. We are looking at various other genres whether it’s music plus food (Ranveer’s Café) or reality with food. Second are the lifestyle shows that we are currently working on like ‘Food Express’ in 7.30pm-9.30pm timeline. Then there’s the recipe-led instruction cooking show in the afternoon timeline which is divided into two types. One which tells you about the recipe and the other is lifestyle oriented. For instance there’s ‘I Love Cooking’ hosted by Maria Goretti which is more personal and anecdotal in nature.”
Nair is rightfully unfazed by competition in the food and lifestyle segment which constitutes of channels like FOX Life India, NDTV Good Times, TLC and Food Food. “We are ahead of all of them across all TG’s. BARC releases a monthly report called Alpha Club where we have close to 45per cent of market share. This is watched by crème of audiences (SEC1 and SEC2) who are watching Indian television and we make culturally rich and relevant content,” he claims.
Advertisers on board
This leading market share brings assurance from advertisers as well, “Because of the leadership in the entire space, the advertisers are more than happy to shift from the existing deals and even open up new avenues of advertising with us. We have FMCG and automobile players advertising with us like Marico and General Motors when we started out. Then from e-commerce sector we have Flipkart which has advertised with us. Other two biggies are expected in the coming month – Snapdeal and Amazon,” Nair gives out the names.
Piyush Sharma, CEO, ZLiving, Indian and APAC, further adds, “We by far command the highest net yield in the genre. We earn leadership not across the audience reach space but also in total numbers of advertisers and the rates that we command. We are very clear that not a single ad would retail beyond a certain kind of a cut off.”
Future plans include rolling out of an OTT platform in coming months and its own website. “It’s a one stop shop for everything related to food, whether its recipes, articles or any interesting trend, which is scheduled to launch in the coming month,” shares Nair.