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Why brands turn to Bigg Boss despite being arguably the costliest property

Every year brands queue up to buy advertising, sponsorship and brand integration rights for Bigg Boss, the longest running reality show on Indian TV. BestMediaInfo.com analyses what makes Bigg Boss an attractive property for advertisers

Advertisers aren’t looking for vanilla placements anymore. What they seek is a higher engagement, top-of-the-mind recall value and the consistent reach through one medium.

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There’s hardly any property on TV other than Bigg Boss on Colors that offers this valuable assortment to brands. According to industry experts, despite being the costliest property on Indian television, brands get as high as 3X to 5X ROI in terms of media value on Bigg Boss.  

Top media planners said what Bigg Boss offers isn’t just high viewership because of high entertainment value, but also seamless content integration and longevity as it runs for more than three months and over 100 episodes. The upcoming season starts on October 3.

Longevity wins the race

Soumit Deb

Media experts suggest what makes Bigg Boss an attractive proposition is its longevity and entertainment value. “Bigg Boss is one of the biggest properties in the Hindi Entertainment space for more than a decade now. What makes it big is obviously the celebrity anchor and the longevity of the show with 100 plus episodes. All brands associated with Bigg Boss are the ones that realise that the longevity will help them grow their viewership and increase the recall value,” says Soumit Deb, General Manager, MediaCom.

“What we could figure from the third-party data is that the presenting sponsor always gets 3x media value. I believe that’s why most of them come back, otherwise, why anyone would come back year after year,” he added.

Mahesh Shetty

Mahesh Shetty, Head, Network Sales, Viacom18, says when advertisers see that the money they have invested got 5x returns in terms of media value, it becomes a lucrative buy. He said brands like Vivo, Lays and Dabur benefited a lot last year.  

Seamless content Integration

A large part of this success has to be attributed to how seamlessly integration is done without compromising with the content. Shetty said, they work on brand briefs and then have to balance the brand’s demand along with the viewers. “There’s a lot of to and fro and we have a team as a part of the sales team which conceptualises ideas as different brands have different needs and focuses on delivering the value to the partnered brands. It is a fine balance, our objective is to deliver value to both the viewer and the advertiser and there are times when the brands come up with good ideas,” he said.

Citing an example, he said “Vivo wanted to amplify their phone’s video-recording facility, so we got one of the housemates Shefali Bagga, who happens to be a news anchor, to record edgy interviews with some of the housemates, which were recorded on the Vivo phone and the features of the phone were amplified over there. At the same time, great content was created. The ideal mix is when you make great content and at the same time amplify brand properties.”

Kishan Kumar MS

Kishan Kumar MS, Chief Growth Officer and South, Head, Wavemaker India, said, Snapdeal has used Bigg Boss beautifully to leverage the offline and online audiences. It depends on how well you leverage the platform. “We have seen that FMCG brands that have stories to tell with synergies to the show have benefitted. Nippon Paint was the first brand to completely redesign the Bigg Boss house for Tamil and that worked well for us,” he added.

Rising number of brand associations

In the last few years, there have been some memorable brand integrations on the show. Such associations include the ‘Vodafone caller of the week’, and ‘Appy Fizz Zone’, Garnier Men’s Face Wash, Clean and Dry and Maruti Suzuki Swift.

Mohit Joshi

Mohit Joshi, MD, India, Havas Media Group, says, “Bigg Boss is a strong platform and has grown well over the years. The number of brand associations has increased and rightfully so. In the 2006 first season, we had extensively used Reckitt Benckiser products in the show. The integration was seamless and was very well appreciated. Over the years I have seen many more integrations happening. We had also integrated the Hyundai Eon in Big Boss' task once.”

This season, Mobile Premier League is the Presenting Sponsor of the reality series and Dabur Dant Rakshak Ayurvedic Paste and Tresemme are the Powered by Sponsors.

According to Deb, the brands that are ready to invest would benefit the most with Bigg Boss. “From a sponsor point of view, a lot many things happen in the house. It is not only about placements but many other things happen inside the house like a branded task. So each brand picks up elements from the house. This helps the brand’s recall and amplifies it. So the winner here clearly is the one who invests that kind of money on the show.”

With so many sponsors up for grabs, when we asked Shetty whether there are any criteria for selecting these sponsors, he said, “It depends on the category, for example, HUL is our partner. They have a plethora of brands but they associate just one. It depends on who closed the deal first for that category and at the best possible price. At times there are also categories that make a lot of sense from a content point of view for us and for those we take a call accordingly.”


Tags: Bigg Boss
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