Is Jassi a metropolitan phenomenon? The bespectacled beauty has cities like Delhi and Mumbai eating out of her hand, but the same pattern is not observed in smaller towns and cities.
To illustrate the point, let’s have a look at the ratings garnered July 5 onwards (SEC ABC 4-plus individuals). In Delhi, in the first week, the show derived 5.7, and 5.2 in the second week, while 4.65 in the third, 4.67 in the fourth and 6.46 in the fifth week. In Mumbai, with the same parameters in mind, the show scored around 8.12 in the first week, 6.83 in the second, 7.04 in the third, 6.76 in the fourth and 7.59 in the fifth week.
Now, taking Delhi and Mumbai out of the picture the ratings garnered for Hindi Speaking markets come down to 3.40 in the first week, 3.25 in the second, 3.39 in the third, 3.05 in the fourth and 2.85 in the fifth week.
Again, in the week starting July 5 (15-plus females, SEC ABC), in Delhi, Jassi garnered 7.65, next week it was 7.06, 7.33 in the third week, 6.48 in the fourth and 11.4 in the fifth week. Meanwhile, in Mumbai (with the same parameters in mind), the show managed 9.38 in the first week, 9.27 in the second, 9.19 in the third, 10.33 in the fourth and 8.66 in the fifth week.
Again, taking Delhi and Mumbai out of the picture the ratings garnered for Hindi Speaking markets, dips to 4.85 in the first week, 4.76 in the second, 4.8 in the third, 4.25 in the fourth and 3.97 in the fifth week.
Media planners ponder why despite K shows holding universal appeal, Jassi attracts the most attention from the niche segments. Says Sandeep Tarkas, Head, Optimedia Direction, “Jassi has been well marketed and publicised in urban centers and perhaps the same amount of attention was not leveraged for the property in other regions. In small towns, the consumption of media is much lesser than in an urban set up, which are why, the ratings would always be low key. On the whole, ratings of 4 and 5 are still exceptional numbers, if you look at what some of the other shows fare in these areas. It is only the K serials, which have managed to get better ratings than Jassi, most of the other shows are still languishing far behind.”
Tarkas adds, “I have a good feeling about Jassi. She has managed to stick on to the television scene for quite a long time and my gut tells me that she would be just as strong in the times to come.”
Prasanth Kumar, Associate Media Director, Maxus Bangalore, asserts, “In Jassi, the plot revolves around everyday developments in a fashion house (Gulmohar) and the characters are chic, vibrant and contemporary, quite unlike the usual family soaps that are telecast on television. My guess is that small towners are unable to relate to the chain of events that go on within the soap, an aspect which the K serials have managed to capitalise on. How do you manage to feel the pulse of the masses? The K serials have done it long enough by depicting family values and a traditional Indian home (which is in tune with all the traditional definitions in the Indian market). At the same time, they spice it up with a lavish display of wealth and grandeur, which is also lapped up by audiences. It’s the perfect mix of both.”
How can the soap leverage itself strongly in the small towns? Kumar responds, “Honestly, at this stage, it does appear quite difficult. The plot is well defined and laid out, and it is an urban theme. There is nothing much you can do about it.”
PRP Nair, Vice President, RK Swamy/BBDO believes that certain incisions can be made to the plot, which would help feel the pulse of the masses. He states, “Jassi doesn’t fare too well in the small towns because it deals with a contemporary theme and depicts a metropolitan atmosphere where women are as career driven or as passionate about their work as are the men. What the channel could really do is to carry on a family saga within the soap, coupled with a dash of office politics. But there are of course no guarantees that the formula would work since the plot has been well etched and laid out and a departure from the same would stick out like a sore thumb. It would seem strange to the viewers, if the channel suddenly launches a mass overdrive and takes on more than it can chew.”
All in all, Jassi is a contemporary serial, with a fresh approach towards securing the TRPs. Its performance in small towns may not match up to its performance in the urban centres yet the numbers beat a whole host of other serials. However, there is the need to give Jassi its due.