Sony Entertainment Television’s popular show ‘Indian Idol’ had the makings of being a winner all the way – it turned contestants into celebrities overnight and had what Indians consider as religion, music. The other reason for ‘Indian Idol’ being one of the most popular shows was its interactive approach.
And, ‘Indian Idol’ was extremely advantageous not just for the contestants, but for SET and its associate sponsor, Nokia, as well. The programme showed the importance of a strategic and well-structured business tie-up that was mutually beneficial for the channel as well as the sponsor.
What made this association even more interesting was its defiance of popular belief that companies are not too keen on sponsoring TV programmes.
Nokia, one of the associate sponsors for ‘Indian Idol’, benefited immensely due to the popularity of the show. The show’s high viewership that transcended urban boundaries helped Nokia connect with the masses.
Explaining Nokia’s move to be an associate sponsor for ‘Indian Idol’, Sanjeev Sharma, Managing Director, Nokia, said, “Sponsorship enables an integrated and interactive brand experience as opposed to a mere spot buy.”
Nina Jaipuria, Vice-President, Marketing and Communications, Sony Entertainment Television, said, “Sony Entertainment Television has always provided a platform to its partners, which gives them the desired visibility and exposure amongst the target audience. The channel, with its marquee properties, also provides a lot of opportunities for brand integrations and takes the brand to a higher level.”
She further said, “Indian Idol’s interactive platform provided Nokia with opportunities to instantly create high visibility impact on its existing and potential customers.”
Nokia, through the ‘Indian Idol’, popularised SMS in Hindi on its phones by keeping in mind the show’s viewers, who were from all walks of life. Nokia also innovatively did in-programme marketing by launching new models and being the official phone of the show’s contestants, judges and anchors.
Said Sharma, “Through sponsorships that have a synergy with the brand positioning and communication, marketers are able to connect better with consumers and increase the longer-term salience of the brand message.”
According to Jaipuria, SET also gained by partnering with Nokia, as ‘Indian Idol’ became a landmark show that revolutionised television viewing and interactivity in India. She added, “The association helps us to successfully communicate and connect with the masses increasing our touch points through this interactive mode, which is an inherent part of the show format.”
Following the roaring success of ‘Indian Idol’, Nokia and SET have partnered again for ‘Indian Idol 2’, which will be telecast later this year.