It is that time of the year when channels are actively looking to cash in on the festivities and the increase in brand spends. In a recent article on exchange4media, we had foreseen an increase in advertising spends from automobile, e-commerce and mobile phone sectors during the festive season (August upswing in consumer mood to power festive ad spends on TV). We had also looked at whether television channels were looking to come out with special offerings, not only to woo viewers but also brands (TV gears up for more festive ad spends from e-comm, auto, durables). Some channels have now unveiled their special packages for the festive season, including new shows and television premieres of top movies. Here’s looking at what’s on the festive airs.
Several Hindi GECs have been actively launching new shows during the festive season. Life OK, for instance has lined up six new offerings, for the three of which they have already made formal announcements. This includes the recently launched dance reality show Dare2Dance, starring Akshay Kumar as the host; Ajeeb Daastaan Hain Ye, a fiction show starring Bollywood actress Sonali Bendre and a new Hindi comedy sitcom, Comedy Classes, both of which to be on-air from October 7, 2014.
Speaking on this Ajit Thakur, EVP & GM, Life OK said, “This Diwali Life OK aims to be the biggest destination for viewers with six new offerings in just eight weeks. Comedy Classes will bring back the sitcom genre to Indian television. The eagerly awaited show boasts of reigning favourites in Indian comedy, like Krushna, Bharti, Sudesh and Shakeel. With the launch of Ajeeb Daastaan Hain Ye, we intend to raise the bar even higher. This show will be one of our biggest launches since it brings together three powerful forces, Ekta Kapoor, Sonali Bendre and the story of an extremely strong female protagonist. We are confident viewers will enjoy the show as much as we enjoyed making it.”
Zee TV’s biggest festive offering comes in the form of a new dance reality show, Dil Se Naachein Indiawaale, to be on-air by October 11, 2014. The show, which will be telecast over the weekends, at the 9 pm slot, has tied up with the soon-to- be-released movie, Happy New Year and has the film’s stellar cast - Shah Rukh Khan, Deepika Padukone, Abhishek Bachchan, Farah Khan, Sonu Sood, Boman Irani and Vivaan Shah as judges.
Punit Goenka, MD & CEO, ZEEL in a press release to the media said, “Dil Se Naachein Indiawaale is Zee TV’s biggest Diwali extravaganza, introducing India to an all-new genre of dancing. The core idea is to spread happiness across the country through dance. We are pleased to partner with Shah Rukh Khan in bringing this proposition alive. The show brings hope into the lives of countless dancers across the country, who haven’t had the privilege of formal training. You don’t need to be flawless and technically brilliant in order to be appealing as a dancer, sometimes all it takes is a lot of heart!”
Colors, on the other hand, launched their flagship show, Bigg Boss season 8 on October 21, right at the onset of the festive season. This is expected to be the channel’s biggest offering during the season. Apart from this, Colors has announced that it will be launching another show called ‘Chakravartin Ashoka Samrat’. The show, which is written by acclaimed author Ashok Banker, will narrate the epic tale of Emperor Ashoka. The channel, however, hasn’t given out the exact date of its launch as it is in its initial stage of production and is looking to entice brands.
Raj Nayak, CEO, Colors said, “We are currently in the initial stages of production…. This is a big show for COLORS and we will be putting all our resources behind it. Further, the show’s concept and universal appeal is bound to entice our marketers and advertisers while creating multiple avenues to enable us to reach out to our collective target audiences.”
Sony Entertainment Television (SET) too has recently released a new fiction show called ‘Itti si Khushi’ on September 29 as part of their festive line up.
While some channels have decided to launch new shows during the festive season, there are others who have decided to create festive programming around existing shows.
Big Magic, for instance, has a whole line of festivities planned during the season around its shows. This includes special episodes of Ajab Gajab Ghar Jamai, Har Mushkil ka Hal Akbar Birbal and Karva Chauth. The channel has also planned two hours of musical entertainment on October 18 at 8pm. These specials are called Mahotsav, which began with Navratari and will stretch until the New Year.
The channel claims it has seen a spike in the ratings with such special programming during festivals such as Janmashthami, Eid and Teej. Commenting on the festive line up, Lavneesh Gupta, COO, Reliance Broadcast Network said, “The festive spikes have been mapped to ensure high relevance, community connect and excellent engagement. BIG Magic’s reach to over 85 million households across the HSMs, coupled with the unduplicated incremental reach of 10 per cent which the channel delivers across the core markets of UP, MP and Rajasthan makes it an excellent platform for marketers to ride on, this festive season.”
Some of these festive programmes have been able to garner considerable brand attraction, especially the new properties. For instance, Dil Se Naachein Indiawaale already has a clutch of brands on board, including title sponsor Maruti Suzuki Alto K10. Co-powered sponsors include Askmebazaar.com and L’Oreal Paris Fall Repair 3X and associate sponsors Zydus Cadila, Nerolac, Liberty Shoes and Vicco. Colors’ Bigg Boss Season 8 too, has a list of sponsors that includes Snapdeal as presenting sponsor and Oppo mobiles as ‘powered by’ sponsor, while the associate sponsors are Maruti Suzuki, TVS Motors, J K Tyre, Cardekho.com, Bisleri Urzza and Garnier Men. Dare2Dance on Life OK has Micromax mobiles as presenting sponsor and Honda as ‘powered by’ sponsor. The channel’s other new show ‘Ajeeb Daastaan Hain Ye’ has onboard presenting sponsor Venus moisturising soap and it is powered by India Gate basmati rice. Life OK has not yet made any announcements about the brand sponsors of Comedy Classes. Star Movies’ movie premiere, Thor: The Dark World has presenting sponsor Samsung Galaxy Tab 5 and is ‘powered by’ Snapdeal and Tata Zest, while associate sponsors are Break Free, Raymond, Gold’s Gym and PVR cinemas.
With ad spends during this festive season expected to increase 25-30 per cent compared to last year according to ASSOCHAM data, new properties or specially created festive properties are likely to get a get major part of the ad spends from big spenders such as e-commerce, auto, mobile phones and FMCG sector brands.