Television

‘Parivarik’ Bigg Boss 8 ready to take off

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MUMBAI: It is that time of the year when everyone will rush back home to switch on their television sets to watch 12 known faces stuck in the house. 

Yes, one of the biggest non-fiction properties of the Indian television industry - Bigg Boss - is back on Colors. Come 21 September, in its eighth season, the show will have in store a never-seen-before thrilling adventure which promises to be all about bumps, jolts and spilled drinks.

Pieced together by Endemol India, the bhai of Bollywood, Salman Khan, will host the show which is themed around aviation with the tagline 'Bigg Boss aath, sabki lagegi vaat'.

12 first-class passengers and newsmakers from all walks of life, will block their seats in this one of a kind aircraft, forge their own connections and survive in this airspace. So are contestants selected as per the theme? “No,” comes a quick reply from Colors CEO Raj Nayak. “Contestants are not chosen according to the theme. We choose contestants from different walks of life and then map them. There are certain characteristics we are looking for as we don’t want boring people in the house.” Thorough research is conducted to analyse their way of thinking and behaviour.

He recalls the moment that two years ago after being the victim of too many controversies, the channel had decided to change the theme and go parivarik with the show. Like always, he believes the challenge is to not show content which can be uncomfortable for families. So, the channel takes the decision of editing the content.

“At the end of the day one must realise that contestants are recorded 24 hour and it is not that things don’t happen in the house. But we will not show such things on-air. Obviously there are dos and don’ts, but on television we are very careful. And ever since we made it parivarik, we have not got a single complain,” says Nayak.

Nayak further goes on to say that he has received a feedback saying it is an educational programme on human psychology. “For me, we have looked it as an education programme on human psychology and at the same time it is entertaining and see different sides of human beings. It teaches you a lot of things. So, here there is an opportunity for you to sit down and say that I am doing a crash course on human psychology in 100 days,” laughs Nayak.

He states that the channel does not have any control on how the contestants behave on the show. According to Nayak it is a challenge because it is not scripted and there is no interference from the channel’s side even if things get ugly. The only communication between the channel and the contestants is through the Bigg Boss and the various tasks. “We create some tasks which may create friction, romance, etc. And if it gets little boring, we cover it by doing dance competition. We cannot control how they behave in what they do,” says Nayak.

Considered to be the most expensive property on TV, the spend goes into the set, contestants, technological equipment, the celebrity host and marketing. According to sources, the production cost per season is around Rs 180 crore.

Endemol managing director Deepak Dhar believes that the show has won over viewers across age groups. “The audiences revel in the erratic format of Bigg Boss and with every season we reinvent ourselves to make the show as unpredictable and entertaining as ever.” Also the creators have realised that the Khan as host transcends from a seven year old to a 75 year old.

After five-long years, the channel has got on-board Snapdeal as its new presenting sponsor instead of Vodafone India. In a deal which is speculated to be worth Rs 35 crore, this is a giant leap for the e-commerce site which had previously sponsored reality shows on MTV including MTV Roadies.

Talking about the partnership, Nayak says that several e-commerce firms wanted to get on board but they snapped the deal. He also added that the Bigg Boss 8 team approached the company for the sponsorship. The deal is currently for only one year and the CEO hopes to continue the association in the future.

Excited with this new collaboration Snapdeal CEO Kunal Bahl says, “The money is well spent. Hopefully this is the beginning to a long relationship. This is the right show for our young brand to reach the right audience. Sure that we will get a good return for our investment.”

With the huge competition in the e-commerce space and the stringent government policies, India-based online retailers like Snapdeal have been looking for various new ways for raising funds. This partnership is going to make perfect brand recognition for Snapdeal.

The channel has also roped in Oppo Mobiles as the powered by sponsor. Moreover, Colors has created a new category called ‘Driven by’ and has roped Maruti Suzuki. Other associate sponsors are Garnier Men, TVS Motors, Cardekho.com, Bisleri Urzza and JK Tyres.

The channel is not looking at getting more sponsors on-board. “There are lots of people who may not be able to afford the tickets as of Rs 10-12 crore. Plus we have a lot of advertisers who are our regular patrons, so we want to give them an opportunity to also be a part of Bigg Boss,” Nayak reveals that sponsors consume normally 65 per cent of the inventory. As for the ad rates this time, the channel has increased its overall pricing by almost 30 per cent as compared to the previous seasons.

According to sources, each associate sponsor pays Rs 12-15 crore. Spot rates range from Rs 4.5-5 lakh per 10 seconds in episodes that feature Salman Khan, while other episodes command Rs 3.4-4 lakh per 10 seconds. For the channel to breakeven, ad revenues are pegged around Rs 350 crore.

On the marketing front, hundred per cent consumer entertainment being the mantra of Airlines #BB8, the marketing strategies will revolve around increasing the market penetration and connecting with new consumers.

The route will be encompassing all the mediums across 200 cities and towns to encourage repeat flying for the viewers. For a higher resonance radio stations across 30 cities will be tapped. For build-up, promotional content will be plugged in across 30 channels and, for a glaring visibility and tune in, an attractive outdoor campaign will don the high walls at strategic locations in key cities.

On order for the consumers to get better passenger information an interesting digital plan has been floated. Viewers can source the entire daily dose via Facebook and Twitter. While FB will have a fun Bigg Boss themed app to test the survival strategies of the player, Twitter will leak live information 24*7. The website www.colors.in will have uncensored videos and a Khabri who will blog live updates. Moreover, a mobile app will beam the live feed to keep the viewers tuned in on the go.

This time Snapdeal is very keen keeping in mind the virtual space. “You will find a lot of engagement activities on the digital space where you will be able to get Snapdeal vouchers, gifts and much more exciting stuff,” adds Nayak.

Unlike last year, where Bigg Boss videos where also available on YouTube, this year the channel has banned it.

About the expectations from this season, Nayak believes that he is very superstitious with numbers. “Every time you launch a show you hope that it will be better than the previous season. Previous season had a very good opening, so we think this season should do it even better. The promos we have launched this time and the amount of buzz we have got is the highest we have ever seen either on social media or general feedback.”

On Twitter, Nayak confidently says that there is no other show in this country that trends as much as Bigg Boss does the moment the show is launched. “I don’t have to spend much money also on marketing because the buzz gets created on its own,” concludes Nayak.

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