'Jassi' rides high on promo blitz

MUMBAI: Flash mobs, pal clubs, lavish spreads in fashion magazines....

The rising popularity of Jassi Jaissi Koi Nahin may not be restricted to riveting content. For the first time in its staid marketing history, Sony Entertainment Television has moved out of the groove, aggressively pushing its innovative product in a bid to get closer to the reigning mainstream Hindi channel in the land.

Importantly, its promotional initiatives have not been restricted to the launch - this week, commercial breaks during the show declared that the forthcoming fashion show on the programme would be featured in the December issue of Seventeen magazine.



The SET team appears to have scored a bulls-eye with this show. Ratings are steadily climbing, as are the number of brands coming on the Sony board during the show. The show began with an average TVR of 3.6 in the launch week and has consistently grown to the latest average rating of 6.6 for the week ended 8 November. One of the episodes in this week also recorded the highest rating of 7.8. The week that ended 15 November however has Monday's episode garnering 4.6, its highest during the week, in the all metros 4+ category.

The multi pronged media strategy however is not being let up. The unique idea of flash mobs in malls, utilised to generate curiosity in the first week, morphed into the 'fueling conversations' strategy where strategically placed groups in local trains drove up interest. The idea according to the channel, was to create curiosity about Jassi and build the protagonist's personality by generating an aura of endearment around her.

Although directed at men and women in the 25-34 age group across SEC A,B,C, Jassi has stoked up interest in various other age groups as well, thanks to and focused campaign leveraging a vast gamut of media - television, radio, outdoors, mobile phones and other high-density footfall areas. The canny strategy of not revealing Jassi's real identity (although media picked up the scent and unveiled her as model Mona Singh) also worked in the channel's favour, with curiosity being maintained.

The channel has also interspersed its campaign with innovative tacks like having people standing with placards for Jassi at the arrival lounges of Delhi and Mumbai airports, aiming to catch the eye of advertisers and media planners, who would obviously be passing through these places. Sony targeted another TG at the Apna Bazaars with a 10 day interactive contest for women.

Jassi's content too, is being revved up. The channel brought in in-house ambassador Mandira Bedi to liven up one episode, Diwali day had a one hour show, while a similar one hour show this Thursday will have celebrity performances by Shefali Zariwala (Kanta Laga girl) and Sunidhi Chauhan. Glamour to promote the simple Jassi?

But the real clincher has been the strategy to promote Jassi as a real person and not a fictional character. On SET India's website, a Jassi Pal Club has been started where Jassi shares her predicaments and viewers reply with their suggestions, a ploy which the channel says has fetched it several responses.

A well placed ad in the Delhi edition of the Ascent section of The Times of India asks for a secretary like Jassi and songs are dedicated to Jassi via special packages on popular FM channels in Delhi and Mumbai. Jassi as an alternative to the made up, doe eyed, silk clad heroines is being stoically plugged as an alternative to the weepy family sagas currently on television. Apparently, it is working.

An SMS strategy, asking viewers to message them if they need to know more about Jassi elicited over 1,00,000 messages, out of which one third were unique visitors, says Sony. Leaflets, celebrity endorsements and tie ups with RED FM ( a RED RJ appears in on air ads claiming to be swamped with calls for Jassi), Sony has pulled all stops in ensuring that Jassi gets a fair hearing before the public takes a decision on its popularity.

So far, the going seems to be good.

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