TLC, the lifestyle channel from Discovery Communications, has already sold 80-85 per cent of the inventory with an impressive array of advertisers for its upcoming locally produced show – Queens of Comedy.
ITC’s Fiama has come on board as the presenting sponsor while Vini Cosmetic’s Ossum, Lotus (beauty partner) and Fasttrack (styled by partner) are the co-powered by sponsors. “The show is probably the perfect beginning to the larger purpose of the newly envisaged TLC, which caters to the Indian millennial women. We have sold out all inventory, except for 15-20 per cent, which we have kept for the last minute requests made by the advertisers at a later stage, on a premium. We have found ‘like-minded’ partners in ITC Fiama, Ossum, Lotus and Fasttrack. While we have three co powered by, each one brings in a distinct proposition and hence Lotus and Fasttrack have been named as beauty and styled by partners, respectively, said Vikram Tanna, VP, Head of Advertising Sales & Business Head of Regional Clusters, South Asia, Discovery Communications India.
The show is said to be in complete resonance with the channel’s philosophy of catering to the millennial women. The channel did an in-depth research to understand the pulse of the Indian millennial woman. One of the major takeaways was that a millennial woman has a strong and distinct voice and she likes to be identified with sense of purpose. The new TLC stands for the brand with a purpose, a lifestyle channel targeting young women. There will a lot of international content, but the channel aims to build many IPs too. Tanna said there is no platform for the female comedians – either on TV or the live shows.
The advertisers have come on board with a promise of content integrations. Tanna chooses to call these associations, not integrations. “This is more like a content association and it goes beyond the regular 30 seconds. The brands will be seen in the show but it is a very subtle inclusion, and not really brand-integration. You will see a lot of moments where content gives brand a window to create affinity. This is what advertisers today prefer and appreciate. The active and passive integrations are things of past. The brands don’t think like that, since the consumers too don't think in that direction,” he added.
Interestingly, some of the advertisers on this show are complete first timers on the channel. Those existing on the channel for other properties or FCT buying have also upped their investments to board the Queens of Comedy bus. The quantum of investment by each of these brands has gone up. The channel is looking at sealing a couple of more advertisers.
With such an impressive line-up of brands, the channel is confident of breaking even and earning more. “As far as investments are concerned, the revenues will be more that break-even point, considering that we have got a healthy list of sponsors. A lot of these brands look at multi-platform since for many millennial women, it is not just linear, but digital too and we have given a lot of benefit to our current sponsors. We will look at a lot of digital-first initiatives going forward,” explained Tanna.
The show will be judged by three acclaimed artists – actor Richa Chadha, Rohan Joshi from AIB and Kaneez Surka. Varun Thakur of ‘Struggling Actor Vicky Malhotra’ fame will host the show. The show will premiere on September 24, airing on weekends at 10 pm.
There are more announcements due to come up as the launch date comes closer. When asked if the show will be available on the digital platform too, Tanna answered, “The show is not just about 10 episodes, it runs in multi phases – starting from call for entries, which is largely digital led to voting which is digital led, then shortlisting, again digital led and then long form episodes when the show goes on air on television. And then there will be short form, which will again be digital led. It will be more about the social media. How we are populating our content across social media is very important. We’ve got people like Varun Thakur and Surka who are talking about it on social media continuously and that is something that the consumers are looking at.”
When asked about the basis on which the channel rounded off on this show, Tanna said, “From the consumer connect point of view, we look at affinity when we select programming both international and locally produced. We will, hence, always find IP-based content so returning seasons of a show like Queens of Comedy. You create huge affinity when you own a creative property.”
He is very confident of a second season saying that, “While the show has already got a good response from the brands, I am very sure that we will also be able to achieve a healthy consumer connect and we will soon return with the second season.”