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Viacom18 sets up unit for brand solutions across the network

MUMBAI: Viacom18 has started a new division by the name of Integrated Network Solutions (INS) which will look at partnering with clients to create large format IPs and brand solutions across the network’s brands.

The INS team will work with teams across the network from the television to motion pictures business and explore ways to best optimise their relationship with their clients. The division had a soft launch around a month back and the first project it worked on was the MTV Video Music Awards India (VMAI) where it partnered with cell phone manufacturer and marketer Micromax.

INS is headed by Jaideep Singh in the role of Viacom18 - Integrated Network Solutions SVP and business head. Singh has been with Viacom18 for nearly six years now and has contributed extensively in developing MTV as a brand in India.

Singh says, “Over the past five years or so, the individual brands of Viacom18 have established their presence with the audiences and the advertisers. We thought it was now time to leverage the strength of the individual brands at the network level.”

Singh reveals that the network has relations with nearly 400-500 clients and the intent is to identify 20-30 like minded ones and create IP properties with them so that the network and the client benefit.

INS will conceive and deliver strategic, creative solutions that will leverage the Network’s media assets and expertise from both a creative and business perspective. The scope of INS’ portfolio spans across live events, broadcast properties and digital and mobile media.

INS operates under two verticals – Viacome18 Live which deals with the experiential part of business, and BE Viacom18 (globally known as BE Viacom) which will look at broadcast side of things. Further, BE Viacom18 has been divided into three function areas – motion pictures, multichannel IPs and international business.

Under Viavom18 Live, the division plans to develop nearly 20 properties across the youth, comedy, kids and regional verticals. In case of youth and comedy, INS has already zeroed in on events like concerts and comedy festivals. “For the kid’s genre, the idea will be to leverage on the huge brand presence that Nick has in terms of Dora the Explorer and Spongebob Squarepants. We want to bring the Dora theatricals to India. We have already started work on bringing the Nick Kids Choice Awards, which are a huge success in the US, to India.”

For the regional aspects, Singh believes that while award shoes remain the strongest prospect, there is huge potential in the culture music and art across India. INS, thus, will focus on creating events like cultural festivals, folk music events and art exhibitions.

BE Viacom18’s motion picture vertical will look after the brand association for films produced by Viacom18 Motion Pictures. “The idea will be to identify brands that are willing to associate with our movies and then integrate the brand into the movie through placement, promotion and on ground activities. If the fit allows, we may even look at embedding the brand in the movie’s script,” explains Singh.

The team will also work on creating properties which can be telecast across channels on the network (like Big Boss). Apart from this, INS will work with the global team to bring international properties to India and also take a few Indian properties to the global stage.

“With MTV VMAI, we have accomplished out first project. We hope to continue doing good work through INS so that our clients and audiences benefit. For now, our goal is to make a scalable and sustainable business out of the brand network solutions initiative and I am glad things have taken off on the right note,” concludes Singh.

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