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Sony targets Rs 2 bn from KBC

MUMBAI: It’s hoping to hit the jackpot itself. Sony Entertainment Television (SET) is looking at more than doubling its advertising revenues from its flagship reality game show, Kaun Banega Crorepati (KBC), even as it is lengthening the telecast time of each episode and its seasonal run.


The Hindi general entertainment television channel is expecting to reap an ad revenue of Rs 1.80 to Rs 2 billion from the fifth edition (second on Sony) of the show, according to market estimates.


This time the show will run for 14 weeks in 1 and a half hour long episodes. In the previous edition, KBC ran for seven weeks in one-hour episodes.


"Sony is looking at more than doubling its ad revenues as the inventory has gone up. Besides, the channel‘s ratings have improved as well," said a media analyst.


The channel is spending an estimated Rs 800-100 million on marketing the game show, which will be hosted by Bollywood actor Amitabh Bachchan. Last time SET spent Rs 110 million on marketing the show.


"We had to spend more on marketing the show last time because we had to stress on the fact that KBC was shifting from Star TV to Sony. Also, Bachchan was returning to the show after a gap of six years," said SET senior vice president and marketing head Danish Khan, while declining to comment on the actual spends this year.


Placing the show at 8.30 pm every Monday-Friday, Sony is using the flagship show as a gateway to its primetime programming. The channel plans to launch a fiction show at 8 pm in mid-September.


"We have two fiction shows which are doing well at late primetime. This is a good time band to attract audiences from smaller towns and metros. KBC is going deeper this time," stated Khan.


KBC was aired at 9 pm in the previous edition.


Sony is expanding the role of KBC from just a game show to a "show that reflects the transformation of lives in India".


"Our entire marketing premise is built on this. Our five set of TVCs will reflect this message," Khan commented.


The themes chosen for the television commercials aim to highlight the country‘s identity: inflation, corruption, old age, relationships and hedonistic.


The show‘s positioning has been amplified from "Koi bhi sawaal chota nai hota" to ‘Koi bhi insaan chota nahin hota‘.


"This year‘s thought of ‘Koi Bhi Insaan Chota nahin Hota‘ is rooted in a popular belief of the society that ‘everybody inherently has the capability to achieve something extra-ordinary‘. Hence, all stories stem from the big idea – ‘do not underestimate anybody‘. KBC is not just a game show but it leads to information. It is rooted to India‘s culture that knowledge is power", averred Khan.


With a broader positioning, Sony has changed its promotional plans as well with television staying as the frontier medium. "Television and cinema will convey the message of the changing India. Print, radio and outdoor will act as reminders for appointment viewing," Khan said.


Conceptualised by Leo Burnett and produced by Chrome Pictures, the campaign has five TVCs, each with a distinct story and character. It reiterates the power that lies with the average middle-class man.


"The hot seat is a great leveler. It transforms lives. The whole auditioning process is done in such a way that every contestant has a story to tell. Each of the 52 episodes will tell a story of the common Indian," asserted Khan.


The reliance on TV has also extended the spots‘ duration to 60-seconds.


"Since the previous year was a very successful one for KBC, we are hoping that this one does even better. We have received fabulous response from our digital promotions as well. Our main objective was to create the most memorable campaign," Khan concluded.

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