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India seeing a new impact property after a long hiatus, says Viacom18’s Nina Jaipuria on the launch of The Big Picture

Jaipuria, Head, Hindi Mass Entertainment & Kids TV Network, Viacom18, talks about the network’s two big-ticket properties, The Big Picture and Bigg Boss 15, and plans ahead

Nina Jaipuria

GEC giant Colors is all set to launch a new big-ticket impact property, ‘The Big Picture’, from October 16. Hosted by Ranveer Sigh, the show will be the channel’s second big-ticket property after Bigg Boss 15 this festive season. 

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While Bigg Boss has been a marquee property for the past 15 years, The Big Picture is the channel’s endeavour to provide a wholesome variety of entertainment to the viewers.

Nina Elavia Jaipuria, Head, Hindi Mass Entertainment & Kids’ TV Network, Viacom18, said, “Conceptually, Colors has always stood for wholesome variety entertainment for viewers. We strive to give our viewers a variety of fiction and non-fiction shows across genres. We continuously look at white spaces and figuring out what our viewers don’t really have.” 

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“We have brought you a contemporary, new-age, international format to India. We have been the pioneers for the longest time of wanting to innovate, experiment and bring new content to our viewers. In that story-telling, The Big Picture is one such piece,” said Jaipuria.

She spoke about the advertisers’ response to The Big Picture and Bigg Boss 15 and said the rates for both properties are almost the same.

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“I don’t think we will have any difference between the two. It is big entertainment on the weekend and we have no reason to have any differential rates. We are already running short on inventory. In a demand-supply situation, you can get your rates even higher, so I think there is no question about different rates on the weekends,” she said.

Excerpts:

What concept and insights is The Big Picture based upon?

Conceptually, Colors has always stood for wholesome variety entertainment for viewers. We strive to ensure we give our viewers a variety of fiction and nonfiction shows across genres. We are continuously looking at white spaces and figuring what our viewers don’t have and in that endeavour, we brought a contemporary, new-age, international format to India. We have been the pioneers for the longest time of wanting to innovate, experiment and bring new content to our viewers. In that story-telling, The Big Picture is one such piece.

We noticed in the past 18 months that TV became the primary source of entertainment. Families are coming together to watch it. Our weekends, therefore, had to double up and we have to ensure that we provide wholesome entertainment to the entire family. With that in mind, we've put our best bet forward and launched two big properties—Bigg Boss just last weekend and The Big Picture now.

Coming to where The Big Picture is coming from, we are consuming anything from content stories to news updates from audio-visual mediums. It has become an integral part of our lives and become a new language. We thought why not bring a show that works on knowledge, technology and audio-visual. This is the core of the show.

The format is about visual memory and knowledge and tests the viewer on these two parameters. It is a new-age content that meets the need of the audience who is ever-evolving and takes to audio-visuals just like fish to water. 

Compared to other international editions, how different will this version be?

To take a new-age international format and Indianise it so that it comes with a big impact, we have to add a lot of masala. Of course, we landed on none other than iconic superstar Ranveer Singh. He brings his own magic, persona and a high level of energy to the table. Therefore, what you see is a combination of a fantastic international format based on visual memory and knowledge with our Bollywood superstar Ranveer.

With this and Bigg Boss, along with Salman Khan with his loyal fans, our weekends are going to be rocking. From 8 to 11 and beyond, I don't think our viewers are going to leave the screen or even touch the remote.

You will see contestants coming from the width, breadth and depth of India. Contestants have gone through a fairly tough audition to be with Ranveer. The questions will be very relatable. You will see a lot of stuff that is very Indian, for example a rap song happening with Ranveer that you cannot miss. The show will eventually be adapted and relatable to the Indian audience.

Bigg Boss is known for its brand integrations. How are branding prospects with The Big Picture?

We've already got four sponsors on board and some on Voot. The way you can interact here is very different from Bigg Boss. You will notice that from the stuff we have done for Byju’s; it is beautifully integrated into the practice. You will see that there is a marriage of sorts for all the brands on the channel and the show.

There are reports about how people can even participate in the show from home; how will that work out?

There are two ways in which you can do this, the show has different lifelines and one of them is called ‘Indiawaale’. You can participate in that by logging into Voot. If you are the first one to give the right answer, you will get to partner with a contestant who is actually with Ranveer.

The contestant knows that if he chooses the Indiawaale lifeline, then he's going to get a correct answer. However, the contestant will have to share the prize money with the person who has helped him. This is the first time we are doing an innovation like this.

For example, if he has won Rs 100, he will have to share Rs 25 with the lifeline participant who helped him. There will be several play-along opportunities on Voot.

Between all the other reality shows across channels and ICC T20 that are lined up, how will this show be received?

History has told us that when IPL came in the festive period last year, we had Bigg Boss clashing with it. We noticed that we have ammunition that can combat IPL. We grew Colors by 10-15%.

Therefore, we've planned this time that whether there is cricket or not, we have to combat and grow our channel’s viewership. I don’t think this is going to come in our way at all.    

We have the knack of experimenting and putting out new genres of content along with old favourites. That combination will work beautifully out of sheer curiosity and intrigue about what this show is, and will bring viewership.

For long we have seen Ranveer on screens in theatres; we are getting him into your living rooms. This is his debut on television and it cannot get bigger than this. I think our shows are going to stand apart. You have something new and different for the viewer with Ranveer and the old favourite with Salman. 

Which category of advertisers has shown an interest in the show and how similar or different are they from KBC?

They are very different shows, ours is a lot based on technology and visual memory. It’s also entertainment on the weekend vs KBC on the weekdays. I would say this is the festive season and the usual categories that lap up this season will come on board. FMCG dominates the GEC category but you will also find e-commerce, ed-tech, automobiles coming to you.

Over the years, Bigg Boss has managed to carve its set audience. What will it take for The Big Picture to do the same?

When was the last big reality show actually launched? We have just been doing newer seasons with newer innovations. You have seen newer seasons of the same shows. It is after a long hiatus that you've seen a new impact property come your way in a new format.  

The conversation and what we're going to offer the viewer is going to be very different, impactful, and staying true to our promise of offering a variety.

The first season of any show is where you come out of curiosity. Audiences will come for Ranveer Singh, engage with the show and engage with Ranveer. Thereafter, it will only grow season by season.  

Is there a difference in rates (sponsorship and ad slots) of an established property like Bigg Boss vs The Big Picture?

I don’t think we will have any difference between the two. It is big entertainment on the weekend and we have no reason to have any differential rates. We are already running short on inventory. In a demand-supply situation, you can get your rates even higher, so I think there is no question about different rates on the weekends.

Colors is the number one destination for viewers. On weekends, we are the number one with almost a 24% market share. With the fact that we are giving the best entertainment on weekends, there is no reason why there'll be any difference. Both shows will sell at a premium with Ranveer and Salman. 

What is your marketing plan for The Big Picture?

As a channel, we've always betted on big properties and not shied away from putting in great promotions behind such properties. Particularly for this show, because this is the first season we want to make sure that we create a big impact, a whole lot of visibility and reach.

We have gone all out and created a 360-degree marketing campaign that will cut across the width and depth of the country. It is not just going to be on TV with our network. We have gone out and approached cables and MSOs. We have print and a very extensive out-of-home plan, which will cover Mumbai, Delhi, MP, UP, Gujarat, Bihar and Jharkhand.

Of course, we have a big digital plan. We have a big innovation never done before in the GEC category — a hyper-personalised video that will reach our viewers and our fans, where they can receive a personalised invitation from Ranveer to come and watch the show with him.

We have a very strong digital community. Across YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and Takatak, etc., we are almost 100 million there. We have the highest reach in the category and brands come to us naturally. We reach 121 million viewers and another 100 million as a digital company. 

Apart from the two shows, what is your overall content strategy for the channel?

The channel is very robust. We have kicked off the festive period and we will continue the momentum as we go along in the year. Even before the festive period, we kicked off a plan where we did two reality shows simultaneously—Dance Deewane and Khatron Ke Khiladi.

Dance Deewane has reached over 200 million viewers already. Khatron Ke Khiladi eventually ended up being the number one non-fiction show in 2021 without the finale ratings, which we don’t have.

We will continue the tradition that our weekends rock with two impact properties. Once these go off the air, you will see two other properties coming up on the weekend. You will continue seeing a very strong line-up of primetime shows as well.

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