Viacom18 is all set to venture into customised brand solutions with its new division ‘Integrated Network Solutions’ which will help create large format IPs and brand solutions for clients across genres and media platforms to engage audiences. This comes as an addition to its already pre-existing strong bouquet of channels, film business through Viacom18 Motion Pictures, Viacom’s consumer product division as well as other allied business.
According to Jaideep Singh, SVP and Business Head, Viacom18, Integrated Network Solutions, Viacom18 is a strong network with partnerships across 400 to 500 clients across, which provided them the avenue to look at offering long-term strategic partnerships to their key clients, along with providing strong impact solutions for the network – this is the rationale behind ‘Integrated Network Solutions’. The new division has primarily two objectives, the first is to liberate the power of the network; the second is to provide larger format solutions or impactful solutions to their strategic clients.
Liberating a network as diverse as Viacom18
In order to fully liberate the diverse networks of Viacom18, the business has been designed in the form of two verticals. The first vertical would pertain to experiential marketing and is known as ‘Viacom18 Live’ which would work across all the network channels. The ‘Viacom18 Live’ vertical would be responsible for the creation of large format IP based live event properties across youth, English entertainment, kids and regional.
Elaborating on the same, Singh stated, “The ‘Live’ vertical caters to all genres and would work on two verticals; the first one is kids and regional, and the second being youth and English entertainment. The significant aspect is getting the leverage or the reach in the market. So ‘Live’ would be across all the network channels across all platforms and would create IP-based large network properties, which will have strong network strength in terms of TV reach out in the market.”
The second vertical of ‘Integrated Network Solutions’ is ‘BE Viacom’ which is the global arm of brands solution or brand engagement of Viacom international. Subsequently ‘Be Viacom’ would consist of three verticals: the first is multi-channel content ideas and format ideas, the second is motion pictures and the third is international business. The first vertical of ‘BE Viacom’ would deal with the creation of content, formats, shows or campaigns which can trend across all the network channels. It would be about large creations and would help in bringing the client in a strategic partnership on a network level.
Singh further added, “What we are going to do here is to take their learnings and what we have done in the last four years in the arena of brand solutions, property creations and client solutions on MTV and a couple of other places. We are trying to create properties on the network level and not about creating separate properties on the different channels. We wouldn’t work across a 100 clients but probably focus on 30 or 40 clients but build strong large partnerships.”
Given the fact that Viacom Motion Pictures has a big strong portfolio of movies, ‘BE Viacom’ would also delve into motion pictures and build brand partnerships around them. This would comprise of movie alliances with the client with an objective of bringing long-term strategic partnerships with the brands through content shoots with the stars, creation of digital content, short form content, in-film integrations, movie alliances, out of films, mall activations, meet and greet, etc. According to Singh, they would be undertaking a holistic approach commencing from the marketing plan, promotions, content shoot, production, activations, viral properties, etc. to create excellent products for the clients.
Singh also believes that since ‘BE Viacom’ internationally has a lot of engagement in terms of global properties, the vertical of the international business would help clients explore the Viacom reach in international markets and help build stronger synergies with the Viacom International as well.
The first large format property to be introduced under ‘Integrated Network Solutions’ will be the upcoming Video Music Awards India, which is one of MTV’s biggest properties and would be a seven-channel simulcast. Some of the other properties include the MTV World Stage, Vh1 Jazz festival, Vh1 God Of Guitar, Comedy Central Comedy Festival, Comedy Central Comedy Nights, Nick Kids Choice Awards, a couple of big large format concerts with VH1 which could be new IPs or probable existing ones coming to play as well as music entertainment, film and TV awards on the regional channels constituting the network bouquet. All these would leverage network strength and network power to make sure that they are bigger in terms of reach and viewership. It would also be about engaging with the client and then building concepts since it is more significant to build strategic alliances with the client and give them the power of the network, shared Singh.