The upcoming season of Bigg Boss, to be launched on October 3, is going to clash with the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL). To ensure that Bigg Boss manages to get good eyeballs, despite it being a cricket-heavy television season, Viacom18 is going full throttle on the marketing of India's longest running reality show.
Asked if the 'Ab scene paltega' campaign of Bigg Boss is targeted at IPL, Sapangeet Rajwant, Head, Marketing, and Digital, Hindi Mass Entertainment and Head of Brand Solutions, Viacom 18, said it is based on the year 2020 as it is something that everyone will relate to.
“IPL’s communication talks about family viewing whereas Bigg Boss claims to be an antidote to 2020. With so much uncertainty around us, viewers are looking for a respite and pure entertainment which Bigg Boss will offer them. It’s not a jawab to IPL but a jawab to the year 2020,” she said, adding it was conceptualised months in advance.
“People are confined to their homes due to the constant threat of the virus and are not being able to travel and go out. The situation has put a ban on our entertainment and freedom. We studied the consumer insights and realised that people are tired of the monotony and want normalcy back in their lives. Properties like Bigg Boss are the biggest signs of normalcy as it brings you entertainment, emotion, and drama, something that breaks the chain of boredom, serving as a perfect antidote to the year 2020. If the year took normalcy out of our lives, the show would turn the situation around ‘kyunki ab scene paltega’ because the most coveted entertainment reality show is back and this is what we want to communicate,” she said.
According to Rajwant, the sustenance period of the show will be picked up by the viewers through word of mouth as the show creates an immense amount of buzz. “Last year, the show started on a high note and the ratings kept on increasing week on week. What happens is that Bigg Boss as a show generates enormous buzz and word of mouth. Last year on social media, Colors occupied a 90% share of voice, which is a huge number and that's the kind of conversation the show is capable of creating. As we enter the sustenance phase, it gradually picks up and continues to grow from thereon as people start contributing to spreading a word about the show,” she explained.
She said they will focus on television and digital as the lockdown has restricted on-ground activities. However, they will explore some print options in tier 2 and tier 3 markets as they have seen a rise compared to urban markets. “Our marketing energies will be focused on these media and the ones with greater ROI and measurability. Print and OOH are yet to gain their momentum back and it will be some more time until we restart our print and outdoor campaigns,” she added.
She says the idea is to not save the marketing budgets but to optimise them. Instead of scaling, they will be exploring a lot of innovative formats and content options. Apart from the usual FCT, there will be innovations in terms of content and integrations with different channels, be it music channels or news. “We will use these 2-3 mediums but will use them innovatively to generate engagement and higher recall,” Rajwant said.
However, she said television will remain the primary medium across their campaigns, as it is the only medium that allows them to measure conversions and the true effectiveness of the campaign.
“Viacom18 provides great network support and they are not only the leaders in various genres but also have distinct identities. They also deliver higher conversions due to their affinity. Leaning on our group channels in a natural fit for us. Very soon the viewers will see a huge burst of high-frequency promos for Bigg Boss not only on the network but across other channels as well,” she added.
According to Rajwant, the show leads to daily discussions by fan clubs and communities that drive the discussion around the show. These fans are the biggest contributor to the user-generated content, hashtags, and discussions around the show. Rajwant said they will also use social media to drive engagement towards the show.
“We have tailor-made content that appeals to various mediums such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. They all serve a different purpose. We will be exploring new tools like reels; we will be the first one to adopt the new formats in vertical video space on Facebook. You will see a lot of action happening on this front. We will also use last season's clips to build curiosity and nostalgia for the brand. It also leads to the burgeoning of fan clubs that keep creating surround sound for the show throughout the season.