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Big CBS bets on home-grown content to augment weekends

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Big CBS bets on home-grown content to augment weekends

Big CBS is upping its bet on original Indian content. The Network comprising Big CBS Prime, Big CBS Spark and Big CBS Love has always injected home-grown shows to the international chartbusters that it has access to but now it is set to launch three locally created properties in a bid to better connect with its target audiences, all of which are planned for Big CBS weekends.

Anand Chakravarthy, Business Head, Big CBS pointed out that home-grown content has always been an integral part of Big CBS’ programming line-up, some examples being ‘India’s Sexiest Bachelor’ and ‘India’s Glam Diva’. The channel has recently launched ‘India’s Prime Icon’ that features top 10 living icons of the country from different walks of life. Audiences will choose their favourite icon from these 10.

The first amongst the other three soon-to-be-launched properties is ‘Bridelicious’, a lifestyle reality show that narrates stories of brides-to-be as three budding designers put together the wedding trousseau and compete to get the bride’s approval. The second show, ‘Gossip and Gravy’, combines celebrity gossip with lip-smacking food. It would be hosted by two friends who would select one national or international celebrity in each episode and cook their favourite recipes as well as share gossips with the viewers. Last on the list of the current lot of forthcoming attractions is the second season of ‘India’s Sexiest Bachelor’ that seeks to crown the most sought-after bachelor in the country.

In a conversation with exchange4media, Chakravarthy elaborates on Big CBS’ plans around these properties.

At present, you have 60-90 minutes of home-grown content every week. What is the thought process behind this?
While the urban elite like to consume international programming, they also connect well with Indian content. We believe that home grown shows, that are relevant and unique, play a crucial role in engaging with viewers at a more personal level. There has been fantastic response to the local shows we have had so far and it is on the back of this that we are launching the new shows.

What are some of the marketing initiatives you have planned around the new shows?
The campaigns of both the properties - ‘Bridelicious’ and ‘Gossip and Gravy’ – will have multiple elements going beyond TV to include digital, radio, print, OOH and relevant marketing touch-points. We generally allot 30 per cent of our marketing spends to the digital platform, another 30 per cent to OOH and 30 per cent to alternative media platforms such as cinema, retail, airport advertising and so on. The rest is earmarked for print, television, radio and branded content.

What is your digital strategy for the marketing of the shows?
We have undertaken quite a few digital integrations as we believe that digital and social media play a very significant role in communication today. For ‘Bridelicious’, we have launched an online contest, where designers can participate for an opportunity to appear in one episode of the show. We are also contributing to the cause of ‘Breast Cancer Awareness’ through the show, where we would be auctioning away a couple of dresses; the proceeds from this will be donated to an entity working for the cause. We would also be launching an online version of ‘India’s Sexiest Bachelor’. People would get an opportunity to send their portfolios and make an appearance in the finale of the show.

Considering that these shows are created in India, what are the in-programme branding opportunities you have worked on?
The Indian produced and connected properties would give brands multiple opportunities to engage with audiences through multi-media promotion and digital engagement. These shows would definitely present varied advertising opportunities for the brands. For a brand association, it is very essential to make sure that the integration doesn’t look like forced and blends in easily with the programming content. Also it is imperative for the brand to stand out intelligently and shouldn’t be in the face of the consumers. For an integration to work correctly, one should know the message that the brand wants to convey and the target audience that it wants to communicate with. Shows such as ‘Bridelicious’ and ‘Gossip and Gravy’ would present excellent opportunities for jewellery, accessories, beauty products, kitchen products and apparels brands amongst others.

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