Life is moving fast for KBC – the show that has been an unbeatable brand for television in India. With Shah Rukh Khan on board, the show has raised quite a few expectations in the market and with its asking price of Rs 13 crore per sponsor for 52 episodes, KBC is arguably the most expensive property on television at present.
The media upfront of the show took place on December 5, 2006 and STAR Entertainment has three advertisers to show already. AirTel returns as more than just a sponsor, partnering with STAR in the telecom needs of the show. Hyundai, too, makes a return this year. The new advertiser on the anvil is UTI Mutual Funds.
Explaining more on the package first, Paritosh Joshi, President, Sales, STAR Entertainment, informed that a total of 10 sponsors would be roped in for the show. The entitlements commence from the on-air promos. He divulged that an advertising campaign would break next week and hence, advertisers would get benefits next week onwards.
“We will use the other STAR Network brands heavily. The on-air spots would be on high rotation and there would be quite a few roadblocks this year too,” divulged Joshi.
Last year, a roadblock was seen when the first KBC commercial went on air, when all the STAR channels aired the promo at the same time.
Coming back to the advertiser package, while most of the other components of the proposal’s outlay remain the same in terms of product integration, on-screen presence and so on, a new thought STAR is experimenting with this time is on the lines of Licensing and Merchandising (L&M). Said Joshi, “We believe that KBC is a strong property for potential clients to do L&M deals with. There are various ideas to be explored here and we are quite excited about some of the things that we can do for our clients.”
As is known, product integration option isn’t necessarily for sponsors, there is the example of Lenovo seen last year. However, Joshi is clear that there would be no branded promos for any sponsors, but tags on the promos.
Speaking on the advertisers, he said, “Three things worked well for us. First, the new host – SRK – really takes the show to the next level; second, people can write about the threat that STAR faces, but STAR as a network takes its leadership seriously and we can reassert our position like no one else when we want to. The third and the final thing is the downfall that properties like cricket have seen in the last few months.”
“There is a general concern in the market and people were looking for alternatives and you couldn’t find a better show than KBC. It is truly a family format and the Bollywood Baadshah taking the reigns of the show. After the media upfront, we really didn’t need to negotiate this property. You can well imagine, to close deals in the first week, we pretty much got what we were looking for,” added Joshi.
UTI Mutual Funds would be seen on TV after quite some time and probably the first time in a sponsorship of this kind. The deal was put together by UTI’s agency Insight. Jaideep Bhattacharya, Chief Marketing Officer, UTI Mutual Funds, said, “Being the market leaders, it is our objective to demystify the mutual fund category. Where internationally a number of 15 per cent come in the MF fold, in India it is only 2 per cent and hence, the opportunity is huge.”
“We wanted to deepen and widen the market. We have products and services that reach every corner of India and STAR would take our message to the length and breadth of the platforms. Further, KBC being a knowledge platform unlike soaps, it is a perfect brand fit. Insight guided us in identifying the right property for our objective,” Bhattacharya further said.
Sai Nagesh, Executive Vice President, Insight, said, “The objective was to demystify mutual funds category. We wanted to involve in a high octane activity. The new KBC not only presents that but also represents new generation and the youth and with both STAR and UTI being the leaders in their domains, it really is one leader partnering with another.”
Bhattacharya, however, didn’t divulge anything on the monies spent for this partnership, but he did say, “The way I see it, what is important is the value of the price we would get and we are dealing with STAR and the finest professionals in the industry. I believe we would get the value we are expecting.”
G Sanjay, DGM, Marketing Strategy and Advertising, Hyundai, was equally diplomatic on this query. He said, “The asking rate for STAR’s shows like Kyunki… is around Rs 2.5 lakh per 10 seconds. If that is a benchmark, we are quite sure we will be able to get want we are expected for what we are paying.”
“KBC gets you the high TRPs and cuts across media and target audiences. It is suitable from Santro to the more premium cars for us. STAR promotes the show heavily throughout,” Sanjay added. Did SRK play a role in the return? “He is our brand ambassador, so it is one more reason, but it is KBC per se that presented a perfect fit for us,” he maintained.
Three down, seven more to go, and if we hear right, STAR closes two more today (December 11, 2006).