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Sony eyes ad rev of Rs 900 mn from Indian Idol

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MUMBAI: Sony Entertainment Television (Set) is targeting advertising revenue of Rs 900 million from the sixth edition of its singing talent hunt reality show, Indian Idol, that airs from 1 June.

Indian Idol moves to a weekend property this time, airing at 8.30 pm on Fridays and Saturdays. In the fifth season, the show started on weekdays as there was no strong fiction property that gave the channel good ratings.

"We are looking at ad revenue of Rs 900 million. We have put Indian Idol on weekends this time as our fiction properties on weekdays are doing well. That was not the case when we aired the fifth season of Indian Idol," said a source in the company who did not want his name to be revealed.

Sony has kept the marketing spend of the show flat at Rs 80 million while pushing for ad revenue growth as the channel has made significant progress in ratings since the last airing of the property in 2010.

"If you take the media inflation, we should have spent more. But the channel has vastly improved its performance since the fifth season ran in 2010. It has climbed to the No. 2 spot in the Hindi GEC ratings order. This is also the reason why we will use less of television for marketing the show. Besides, we are promoting it more aggressively during the IPL this time," the source said.

Produced by Fremantle Media India, the singing reality show will air every Friday and Saturday at 8.30 pm.

"The show will be bigger in scale this time. It will penetrate deeper across the country for hunting talent," said FremantleMedia India MD SK Barua.

Sony has roped in a clutch of sponsors. While Close Up is the presenting sponsor, MTS is powering the show. The associate sponsors on board are Flipkart.com, TVS Tyres, Vivel, Max New York Life Insurance, Amul Macho, Sunsilk and Suzuki Motorcycle.

Indian Idol will run for 26 episodes, positioning itself as ?Idol behind an idol?.

?The entire marketing strategy of the show was built around one insight that Indian Idol is a journey from nobody to somebody. And this can?t be an independent journey; it is a journey of emotional support, motivation and inspiration that a person gets on the way to become an idol. This is where the thought of ?Idol behind an idol? came," said Set marketing head Danish Khan.

Sony is creating four TVCs to push the show. "Once we solidified the positioning, we came up with four TVCs, digital, OOH, print, different other media applications. We are setting up a mood for the content. It?s not just about singing but the journey that is also important," said Khan.

The promotional activities will remain high across the Hindi speaking market (HSM). Apart from Set?s own network, the channel has booked 8700 TV spots across 20 television channels. The channel has also bought 5000 radio spots on radio channels across the country to promote the show.

The marketing campaign is being launched in two phases. The first phase talks about the new positioning of the show. The second phase will come 10 days prior to the show launch when the channel will start with the ?countdown? campaign. The channel will highlight the show?s music and look through the campaign.

The new season will be judged by Anu Malik, Salim Merchant and Sunidhi Chauhan and will be hosted by Hussain and Mini Mathur.

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