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We expect viewership to be substantially high this time from previous seasons: Viacom18’s Anshul Ailawadi on Roadies

Ailawadi spoke about the new season of Roadies which will have a number of innovations and about the channel’s expectations from the show

Viacom18 and MTV are all set to launch the 18th edition of their flagship reality show- Roadies. The channel is also bringing in a number of innovations to the show in this new and upcoming season.

With Infinix Smartphones as the title sponsor, Co-powered by CoinSwitch, Paree Sanitary Pads, Leverage Edu and Lakme Sun Expert and produced by PipPip Media, the show will premiere on April 8, 2022, at 7 pm.

It will air thrice a week for the first time from Friday to Sunday on MTV. The show will also stream exclusively on Voot. spoke to Anshul Ailawadi, Head, Youth, Music and English Entertainment, Viacom18 about the expectations for this season.

“We have an aggregate viewership goal that we are chasing across TV, Digital and social platforms. We expect it to be substantially higher than in previous seasons,” Ailawadi said.

He added that as a network, their approach is very consumer-focused and property-specific. “For us, it is important for the IP to be seen, if the consumer is watching it and is present at six different places, we want to be the number one at all those places. We have been doing this for a while now,” he said.

As per Ailawadi, the advertising response has been encouraging for the new season with a number of brands from various categories lining up for partnering with the show.

“There is no property in the country that I can think of, outside of sports, that has a handset manufacturer, e-learning platform, makeup brand, crypto exchange and a sanitary napkin brand as your main sponsors. We also have the NBA the Basketball association as a sponsor and a couple of more advertisers on OTT as well. So, the interest in the property is quite high.”

This season, the show is set in South Africa, and instead of contestants auditioning they have new contestants paired with former Roadies contestants in an unprecedented ‘Buddy pairs’ format. The pairs will travel across destinations and face the challenges set by the judges. Instead of Rannvijay Singha, who has been associated with the show for a long time now, they have roped in Sonu Sood as a host this time.

“The only thing that’s the same about Roadies this year is the adventure. Which is the DNA of the show. The host is new, the format is new and the location is new. People must realise that the world is changing, and especially with the pandemic, the thinking and the views of the youth have changed. It was only natural for us to change the formats for the audiences.”

For the marketing of the show, a 360-degree campaign has been conceptualised in-house. The show is being promoted across OOH and TV spots on the network channels as well as on channels outside the network.

Asked if the views about the show being stretched and running for close to two decades impact them, Ailawadi stated, “Feedback is always welcome. A large part of the innovation we have done this season is to ensure we are above the curve. My answer to people who say that would be to watch this season. We want to scale the show 10X with all the changes and ideas.”

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