Ormax Media, a research and consulting firm specialising in the entertainment business, has unveiled its study, titled ‘Characters India Loves’, that seeks to measure the popularity of characters on Indian television.
The first edition of ‘Characters India Loves’ was conducted between July 15, 2009 and August 12, 2009. Interviews were conducted among 2,000 respondents (70 per cent females and 30 per cent males) across five cities – Mumbai, Delhi, Ahmedabad, Lucknow and Indore – in the age group of 15-44 years from SEC A, B and C. The study reports the ranking of 125 most liked characters across various channels on Indian television.
The respondents were asked to name their favourite character on television with their reasons. According to the findings, Anandi, from the serial ‘Balika Vadhu’ which appears on Colors, is the most liked character with a share of 16.8 per cent. She is followed by Akshara, from ‘Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlaata Hai’ on Star Plus, with 11.9 per cent share of likeability. Rajeev Khandelwal, the host of ‘Sach Ka Saamna’, again from Star Plus, came in third with 7 per cent share of likeability. Sadhana (‘Bidaai’) on Star Plus received 5.1 per cent, while Dadi Sa of ‘Balika Vadhu’ on Colors with 4.5 per cent also figured in the top five list of the most likable characters.
The others include, Laali (‘Agle Janam Mohe Bitiya Hi Kijo’) on Zee TV with 3.2 per cent of the share, Daya from the comic serial ‘Tarak Mehta Ka Oolta Chashma’ on SAB TV got 3 per cent, Radhika from ‘Chhoti Bahu’ on Zee TV received 2.6 per cent share, while Rakhi Sawant from her recently concluded reality show ‘Rakhi Ka Swayamvar’, which appeared on NDTV Imagine, finished ninth with 2.6 per cent share, and Ichha from ‘Uttaran’ on Colors received 2.2 per cent of the share.
The study also shows that Anandi (Colors) continues to be the most popular or likable character among the female viewers with 17.7 per cent share of likeability, followed by Akshara (Star Plus) with 14.7 per cent of the share, while Sadhana (Star Plus) and Dadi Sa (Colors) stand in the fourth and fifth positions, respectively.
On the other hand, among male audiences, Rajeev Khandelwal of ‘Sach Ka Saamana’ (Star Plus) emerged as the most popular television character with 15.8 per cent of the share of likeability, while Anandi of ‘Balika Vadhu’ (Colors) came in the second position. Daya of ‘Tarak Mehta ka Oolta Chashma’ (SAB TV), Rakhi Sawant of ‘Rakhi ka Swayamvar’ (NDTV Imagine), and Akshara of ‘Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata Hain’ (Star Plus) came in third, fourth and fifth, respectively.
This study is said to be useful for both broadcasters and advertisers as it tells them which characters from the various shows are most liked and why. These factors are said to be of immense value to channels to fine-tune existing content strategies and also create more relevant programming in the future. This information can also help in finalising star casts for reality shows or judges for talent based competition shows and so on.
In conversation with exchange4media.com, Shailesh Kapoor, Director, Ormax Media, said, “The objective is also to understand the common reasons as to why these characters are liked, whether from fiction or non-fiction, which can also help in future direction of the programme. It has been learnt that the loyalty factor is seeing a downturn, and this has been one of the objectives of the study, which is to see the shifts. The challenge for these channels, I believe, is to keep coming up with something new and innovative as it is not necessary that the same characters could hold the top 10 ranking even next time round. The idea, however, is to come out with the study every three months.”
“In terms of our expansion plans, we are eyeing the kids’ genre, which is in the immediate future. Apart from the kids’ genre, we may also look at expanding into the South Indian GEC market,” Kapoor added.