Television

Bigg Boss 7 takes the road to heaven and hell!

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MUMBAI: What do James Bond and Colors' reality show Bigg Boss share in common? It's the number 7. In its seventh edition this year, the Endemol-produced Bigg Boss will begin airing from 15 September promising action like 'never seen before'.

A pointer is the new theme that has been planned for this year's theme, which plays with the two afterlife abodes - heaven and hell amplifying the message the pleasure of heaven and the pain of hell. And the tag word they have coined for this year is Bigg Boss Saath 7 (Remember Big Boss Five Five and Season 6 Alag Che?).

Says Colors marketing head Rajesh Iyer: "This season Bigg Boss will make sure that you get to see heaven and hell *saath-saath* on Bigg Boss Season 7."

 

The teasers that hit TV screens this week show an open gate with one side leading towards heaven and the other towards damnation or hell. And if you look closely at the promos which are on air you will see Sallu aka Salman Khan donning the avatars of an angel and the devil. The campaign will involve print, digital, mobile and below the line mediums. The face behind the TV campaign is Orchard Advertising and Tubelight films.

The number 7 has been incorporated into many aspects apart from the tagline. The number of participants is 14 (2 X 7) and all the action during the show will be captured on 70 cameras. "The message is simple - pleasure or pain: both are inevitable and there is nothing to be taken for granted," says Iyer.

Inspiration has been taken from the mythological space and the pleasure of heaven has been articulated as 'wow' and pain as aao. Khan will be seen his usual cheerful self and being an improviser himself has created his own catchphrase 'By God.' Seems to be very pun intended!

Speaking about what made them choose this particular theme this year Orchard Advertising Executive Creative Director Hemant Kumar Sivan says that they had two tasks to deal with: to raise the curiosity and interest levels amongst viewers and to present Khan in a fresh manner.

"We worked with the simple truth of life that, heaven and hell are of man's own making. It all depends on how one deals with what life has to offer," he says intending that the inmates are going to face some hell-like situations and only one of them will survive the best of both worlds.

Living up to its reputation of being very interactive on social media, a heaven versus hell interaction will be initiated every day post the trailer launch. "As of now, we are just feeding cues for people to pick up," says Colors digital head Vivek Srivastava.

Previously, the fifth season saw two biggies Salman Khan and Sanjay Dutt, both involved in the promotional campaign with a special music video featuring the two while the sixth season played on the theme alag che (it's different).

Bigg Boss hasn't gone without its share of controversies. The year 2011 saw the show go into a slightly negative zone with Indo-Canadian porn star Sunny Leone and the channel was pulled up for using the national anthem to promote the show in movie theaters last year. It hasn't given up hope but. Even this year it will continue to air its promos on theater screens.

According to Colors CEO Raj Nayak its non-fiction shows generate more traction from advertisers than its fictional shows and Bigg Boss gets some of the biggest brand. However, he adds that it works as a loss leader and the channel has been investing in it because it is a cult show. This apart, it generates a lot of buzz. Estimates are that it is in the region of Rs 15-20 crore.

Going by the lyrics of Black Sabbath's song if it seems to be real, it's illusion the happenings in the house surely seem to be on the same path. The number seven is lucky for a lot of people. Will it be the same for the Bigg Boss' Eye or will it suffer a seven year itch with its viewers?

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