While speaking at the Advertising Club Bombay's Value Creation seminar
on marketing entertainment and their growing inter-dependence, Star
India COO Sameer Nair stated that successful entertainment products
evolve daily and have a life and personality of their own. Once
created, they feed on themselves, constantly reinvent themselves
and transcend their basic achievements, he added. Nair also said
that entertainment brands need to be illusory, elusive, magical
UTV Group director Zarina Mehta mentioned that the reasons for
the success and failure of TV programmes were linked to marketing
and communication plan; ability to offer simple propositions with
a new twist and proper testing of concepts and new ideas. Mehta
also stated that there were clear gaps in children's programming
Star's Nair felt that brands are basic to human existence and the
concepts of names and nationality has originated from this need.
Entertainment products are inanimate but the marketers breathe life
into them. However, a human touch is essential to provide a lifelike
experience, Nair added. The objective is to ensure that the entertainment
brands outlive the humans associated with the brands - for instance
Charlie Chaplin is instantly recognizable but Charles Spencer Chaplin
is not! The entertainer aims to keep the magic alive for a long
Nair added that human beings become brands, symbols or icons when
myth eclipses reality. Entertainment brands are intangibles unlike
sports and religion. Whenever human beings become icons, they get
trapped and become a victim of their own. The audiences don't like
it when the icon changes. Building entertainment brands is like
pulling rabbits out of a hat.
UTV's Mehta felt that the key to successful programming is simplicity
and concise communication.
The following are excerpts from Mehta's presentation:
If a programming person cannot sell an idea in 15 minutes, then
the idea cannot be sold at all. Therefore, there is a need for getting
a fix on the single, strong selling point of communication. Every
serial has to satisfy an emotional need. The stronger the need -
the better the TVR. The USP needs to be part of all communication
and marketing endeavours. It is important to know and respect the
For instance, Shanti's USP was the fact that it was the
story of a strong-willed middle-class woman with strong family values.
Karamchand was a brilliantly conceived and crafted detective serial
interspersed with comedy originating from the interaction between
well-etched characters. Saaya and Shagun were all
about female bonding. Tu Tu Main Main was about the eternal
struggles of everyday humdrum. Shaka Laka Boom Boom was about
magic and the fact that good triumphs over evil.
A simple proposition that satisfies consumer needs could be taken
and developed by adding a new twist. However, there is a need to
make sure that the viewer understands the differentiating element
of the programmes. The point of differentiation in familiar themes
is what draws audiences.
Kahin Na Kahin Koi Hai failed because the marketing and
communication plan failed to get in viewers for sampling the first
show. The viewers had wrong perceptions that the show was about
Madhuri's marriage; others believed that it was a soap opera starring
Madhuri. The marketing plan failed to prepare the audiences and
required more meticulous preparation. The feedback also showed that
the actual show was considered to be less extravagant than what
was promised through the promos.
Comedy serials on Indian TV need a laughter track as there is an
ardent need to inform/tell viewers that they are watching a comedy
serial. Khichdi is a serial that doesn't have a laughter
track and has not gone well with viewers.
Channels shouldn't sell programming concepts or slots and must
focus on selling serials and shows. Viewers don't watch Sundays
or night slots or morning slots - they watch shows and programmes.
Also, the actual content must deliver what is being promised through
the communication. Some programmes have flopped because the actual
programming content fell short and couldn't satisfy consumer expectations.
The programmes also fail because viewers cannot fathom the differentiating
There is nothing wrong with trying something new even if the programming
initiative fails. However, the new concepts have to be tested and
tried with a sample size comprising of different sections of society.
Successful trial runs don't necessarily guarantee success. There
is also a need to revitalize the existing shows at regular intervals
by reinventing the story idea.
TV personalities -
good option for advertisers
Need a hit - Its all
about marketing and communications
need specialised marcom agencies
Radio provides unique
options to advertisers
Leo Entertainment capitalises
on in-film product placements