In programme advertising sneaks in subtly on Indian TV

MUMBAI: Product placements within programmes may have long been the norm in the West, but the idea is just percolating into desi shows.

A study conducted by TAM AdEx recently, focusing on a few shows and the products showcased therein, shows that while, for the broadcaster, it serves as an additional revenue stream and to the advertiser it offers a 'clutterfree' and 'zap free' environment. The study has chosen Dr Morepen's products on Star Plus' show morning health show Tango. 

While the concept of subtle product placement has prevailed in India for quite some time with examples like Kaun Banega Crorepati with the camera focused on the ICICI cheques at the time of Amitabh handing over the cheques to the winners and the launch of Maruti Versa on Khulja Sim Sim, Tango takes the advertising a mite further.

For three episodes telecast on 9, 10 and 11 April 2003, the Dr Morepen brand was visible on the screen 221 times across the three episodes or 70 times on an average per episode. The brand was visible for 1352 seconds as a result of in programme promotion in addition to the actual advertising time. 

This means that if this was to be converted into TV commercials of say 20 seconds each (as is during the commercial break) , 1352 seconds would actually amount to 67 TV commercials in 3 episodes, averaging 22 commercials each episode over and above the commercials during the actual commercial breaks.

TAM AdEx captured 18 different "Points of the programme' in which the in programme placement was displayed. From the start of the programme to Health Tips, the construct displays a salient blend of the programme situation with the brand name, says the TAM AdEx study, which also captured audio mentions of the brand for the first time in India. 

The brand has been able to generate a great deal of on screen visibility due to this unique advertising window, says the study.

The study also compared in programme advertising with non TVC advertising as it exists in cricket programming on Indian television and found that while In Programme promotions contribute 33 per cent of the total advertising time on Tango, the contribution of Non TVC advertising is as high as 43 per cent on cricket related shows.

According to Njoy Media GM (a group company of Dr Morepen) Dr. Chandrasekhar says, "The strategy for the programme hinges on frequency aimed at creating involvement for Tango brand which will be launched later this year. The idea is to build a community around the health and lifestyle promise of Dr Morepen and plug the Tango name indelibly in the public mind".

With both the broadcaster and the advertiser seemingly happy about the success of the Tango story, looks like the Indian viewer will have to brace himself for some aggressive product placements in shows in the near future.

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