At the time of its launch, Jassi redefined successful programming for the Indian audience in more ways than one. The bespectacled character did become the talk of the town but brand Jassi has seen all kinds of highs and lows since then. Now as she finally enters the stage where the ugly ducking turns swan, the channel has ensured enough hype to lure as many eyeballs as possible. And we did some talking to see if media experts are as excited as the channel around this change.
Agreeing that this is perhaps the most important stage in 'Jassi's storyline so far, Tushar Shah, VP, Marketing and Communication, SET expresses, “We expect 'Jassi's progression to create a similar wave as the show's launch did. The channel itself had become the talking point of the nation and the same should happen again.”
He explains that the changes would not be seen overnight and that every aspect, from Jassi’s hair to her glasses, makeup and finally even the reaction to the change has been treated specially to ensure that the changes conform to reality. The channel has pulled in different partners for all aspects. From VLCC, Kaya Clinic, Bausch & Lomb, Pantene and Riah to socialite Queenie Dhody, make up artist Mehra Kolah and designer Seema Khan, the channel has quite a few names to arouse the viewer interest.
Add to that a cameo role from Juhi Chawla, which comes via an association with Kurkure and a whole lot of media tie-ups ranging from two half hour exclusive programmes on NDTV India and Profit to a tie-up with Mid Day and radio coverage around on reaction to Jassi’s new avatar, the channel has planned quite a blitzkrieg to overwhelm the Indian viewer.
The channel is indeed excited with brand Jassi but media experts have a slightly different view to offer. Says Mediaedge: CIA’s Shubha George, “The intrigue is there around the transformation and I believe it will reflect in terms of ratings too. However, I don't see the ratings hitting the high that was expected at the time of the show's launch.”
A reason she shares is that the transformation has been delayed for too long. A point that Anita Nayyar, MD, Starcom (N&E) agrees with, “It has been dragging. When the show was launched it was refreshing and had a pace. Even though it is still refreshing in comparison to other shows on television, it isn’t as crisp as it used to be. Take L’Oreal for instance and a similar thing is happening to VLCC.”
She points that even though this pace is beneficial for brands, it may not be so welcome by viewers, “For an advertiser, it is good, there is great brand fit and the products are weaved well with the show but it can get irritating for the viewer. In terms of TVRs it wouldn’t cross 6.”
Presently, Jassi is drawing a TVR moving between 2 plus to 3 plus for the channel. Another attribute that George points out is that there are other things happening in the media currently that can dilute the hype around the show, “Even though the timings in terms of telecast is not the same as the current Indo-Pak series, the effect that an initiative like this can have in relevant circles gets diluted when there is hype around any other event. People would be looking forward to the transformation but it is not going to be even close to another ‘Who would be the Indian Idol?’ or ‘Will Sachin hit the record breaking century?’”
The channel has perhaps not left any count unturned where it can create relevant noise around the show. The marketing campaign, which broke on-air on March 1, 2005 is a planned as a three week activity which will highlight every change in Jassi’s journey to transformation. The off-air efforts kicked off March 6. Wannabe Films and Euro RSCG have worked of these fronts.
The channel has deigned a contest, ‘Make your own Jassi’ and has initiated an auction as well. “We wanted off-air and on-air to reflect the same intrigue of ‘Kaisa Hoga Jassi ka Naya Roop’ and we have brought out a perfect synergy on that front,” informs Shah, “We have always looked at opportunities that can create interaction with the audience and our experience so far shows that there is a section of people who look forward to such initiatives. We have indeed given this change a 360 degree approach.”
Many say that Jassi is an iconic brand and has in a short span created a bond with the Indian viewer. In terms of numbers, the show had began with highs of comfortable 6 plus and had reiterated the strength of differentiated programming. However, this isn’t quite the case, at least in terms of numbers now. With this change, where will Jassi take the channel now, is something that many are going to watch out for.