Big Magic to experiment with mythological comedy

MUMBAI: ‘Narayan! Narayan!’ chanted Naarad muni - the wise and mischievous character from Indian mythology. Reliance Broadcast Network’s Hindi general entertainment channel (GEC) Big Magic is now looking at piggyback-riding on the popular character’s wit and humour by launching a mytho comedy show on him.

“It is very easy to make someone cry but very difficult to make one laugh and that is what Big Magic is all about - making people laugh,” Reliance Broadcast Network (RBN) COO Lavneesh Gupta tells

In keeping with the strategy followed since its re-launch in 2014, Big Magic’s show will be in line with the channel’s positioning as a humor destination.

The show is expected to launch in the new financial year. Centred around the life of Naarad, the show will tell the story from his point of view, while highlighting the bitter sweet relationship between Vishnu and Naarad. The show will maintain the inherent light–heartedness of Naarad’s character, while giving him his due respect as Dev Rishi - a saint who has been given the status of a God. Vishnu also plays a very important role of a mentor or guru to Naarad. Ensuring a takeaway, the show will highlight a lesson at the end of each story, which will be imparted to Naarad by Vishnu.

Speaking about the pre-release research for the show, Gupta says, “When we launch a show with a new concept, we take into consideration consumer insights. Moreover, our historical comedy Akbar Birbal, which contributes upto 45 per cent of our ratings, is the biggest example of that. Insights have been taken from the testimony of the HSM (Hindi speaking market) specially focusing on the towns of MP, UP and Rajasthan, which are major contributors of HSM. We received positive feedback and our market research indicates that the show will fare well going forward.”

With this show Big Magic expects to enhance its positioning and invade into an unexplored territory. “Naarad would be the first mytho–comical show in India and we would like to reinstate the faith we created with Akbar Birbal. Mythological shows on television today are doing well. However, no one has ventured into the mytho-comedy genre as yet. With Naarad, we are looking at establishing this genre. A lot of research went into zeroing in on the perfect character for this genre and that’s where Naarad came in,” informs Gupta.

The channel is planning a three-pronged marketing strategy to promote the show. Gupta says, “The marketing campaign of Naarad will be based on three pillars: idea, concept and show characters. Plans are to aggressively promote the show across different media with heavy priority on the digital platform. Zeno Group has been given the creative mandate for the show’s ad campaign. Since the digital medium has the power of popularising things in seconds with its viral nature, our focus will be more on digital.”

The channel has also presented Naarad’s concept to potential advertisers and has received a positive response due to the freshness factor.

“We have extended or distribution widely with expansion into LC1. Currently we are also available on DD Direct, which gives us a large and incremental reach beyond the top six GECs,” Gupta informs.

Mythology, as a genre, enhances awareness and the younger generation is oft asked to follow the same. Gupta believes that this is one reason why this segment is working on television. 

Sharing his views on the future of the channel, he adds, “Going forward, we will keep exploring and launching new shows till we reach the peak in our genre. However, we will never shift away from our USP Chatpata Har Pal. By the end of this financial year, we aim to be the best destination for comedy in the media space.”

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