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Difficult to mount a finite series in India, says Sudhanshu Vats

Group CEO and MD of Viacom18 was speaking at the launch of MTV Nishedh, an MTV Staying Alive Foundation show which is a 13-episode series

It is difficult to mount a finite series in India as of now, and it's not to do with content, but marketing is a challenge, said Sudhanshu Vats, Group CEO and MD, Viacom18. He was speaking at the launch of MTV Nishedh, an MTV Staying Alive Foundation show which is a 13-episode series.

“The country is so large, and our series run into 1,000 episodes to 2,000 episodes. In contrast, a 13-episode finite series is too short to mount when it comes to marketing,” Vats said.

The 13-episode series will focus on breaking the taboos around various health-related issues, including sexual reproductive health and wellbeing, contraceptive care, tuberculosis (TB) and nutrition. The campaign for the series will also feature a radio drama series. It is an adaptation of MTV Staying Alive Foundation’s ‘Shuga’ a campaign that focused on the behavioural changes towards health in Africa.

Vats said that the show would be telecast on MTV and Colors Rishtey to target the youth and other segments. “Colors Rishtey for a better segmenting because of its appeal to tier two and three,” he said.

Nishedh will also be available on Voot.

Commenting on the marketing of the show, Vats said that digital would be the lead medium.

At the launch, Vats spoke about Viacom18’s long association with social causes and building shows around it.

“We have, since inception, created content on social causes and built a successful broadcast business around it – from Balika Vadhu to Shakti to Laado – we have covered a gamut of socially sensitive issues through our TV content. Furthermore, through our youth brand MTV, we continue to create multimedia campaigns, over and above our TV shows, that highlight various social themes,” he said.

Sonia Huria, Head - Corporate Marketing, Communications & Sustainability, Viacom18, said, “Our mission is to connect every story to its audience and every audience to its story. And over the last 12 years, we have created stories that resonate with our audience across platforms. Interestingly, some of our biggest successes have been stories that speak of societal issues or regressive societal norms.”

Hisham Mundol, Executive Director of Children’s Investment Fund Foundation, said, “The power of MTV is that it is a brand that young people love. We are proud and excited to support introducing MTV Nishedh to India because we believe it can inspire and empower an entire generation to take control of their health and well being.”

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