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Talent Hunts cease to excite media experts

24-September-2004
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Talent Hunts cease to excite media experts

Indian Idols, Zee Cinestars, Super Singer or Item Bomb – the number of talent hunts is increasing on television. As is the case with anything in excess, the novelty has withered away from this and so has the excitement around it. Media experts explain that as far as the worth of the property is concerned, from advertisers’ point of view, the only way these would matter is if they give the advertiser unique ways to accentuate brand attributes.

“If you look at the property itself, at one point these presented unique opportunities for the brand but today that value has gone,” shares R Gowthaman, General Manager, MindShare Fulcrum, “And, they have become wallpapers. There are two counts in which you can look at such programming initiatives. One, the brand attributes are enhanced and second is good marketing. All these fall in the latter. But even in that case, I doubt if the brands manage good mileage.”

He explains further that with the promotions limited to the respective networks, the brand campaign itself is limited, “Then it is as good as being present on a Kyunki or a Jassi.”

Echoes Divya Radhakrishnan of The MediaEdge, “There is hardly anything that differentiates one hunt from the other and there are too many of them. Each of them will show crying participants, angry participants, drama – all that jazz. So being present on them in this form makes you just a spot.”

Bringing out points on how these properties can make a further difference, she says, “The only way now that either of them would make brand sense is if they tie up with brands on the ground level and take it forward from there. The channel should offer complete packages that allow the brand the multiplier effect of on-ground visibility and on-air presence.”

“You have to offer a solid activation plan for the brand,” points Gowthaman, “what we see today in the form of MTV Roadies, which presents an excellent brand fit is what works with the consumers.”

Evidently channels do understand the importance of this factor. For instance, in the case of ‘Idols’, as was seen internationally, special branding opportunities for the advertiser are created. Even as the channel is reluctant to discuss anything on this count, sources explain that many cases of in-programme branding, like placing brands on the judges’ tables or in waiting rooms, will be seen.

“There are a few cases that do give the client an extra mileage but these are very few,” emphasises Gowthaman, “These hunts haven’t managed any kind of brand integration and that is where the problem lies. It’s not as if these are cost effective either. We have to look at more customised solutions if such properties have to take a special place in any media plan.” As far as the hunts are concerned, sources inform that Indian Idols is currently placed at a much higher bracket than the other hunts. But the situation indeed is such that every third channel is flashing announcement on some hunt. It would not be surprising if we soon see sports channels hunting for commentators or news channels hunting for newsreaders. As for the ones, that are already on-air, it is just a matter of time before we see, which hunt actually rocks the television scene.

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