MTV’s ‘India's Next Top Model’ experiment pays off with good ratings

MUMBAI: The Indian adaptation of Tyra Banks’ reality show America’s Next Top Model, called India’s Next Top Model has entered in its eighth week and the show has been doing well on the ratings front for MTV. In last week’s ratings, India’s Next Top Model was the second most popular youth show.


The show is produced by Bulldog Media & Entertainment and the makers couldn't be happier.


Bulldog Media & Entertainment co-founder and executive producer Akash Sharma said, “We are very happy with the ratings. The show is number one in its time slot. We are a way ahead of competition and right now we rank number two among the youth shows, only trailing behind Splitsvilla. Episodic ratings consistently reach 70+ TVTs and weekly episodes are peaking with 120+ TVTs range, which is in line with other well established franchises. We are very happy about the phenomenal ratings.”


America’s Next Top Model is one of the most successful international formats and is currently running in 20 countries as a local version. “So it’s natural to bring a show of this format in India. We have so many fashion weeks happening here besides other fashion events. We acquired the rights of America’s Next Top Model and then put the things together,” he informed.


India’s Next Top Model is being touted as an inspirational show, wherein the audience will see a lot of transformation in the participants, who hail from different backgrounds. Already popular in Asian countries like Thailand and China, Sharma is of the opinion that the Indian audience can relate to the content. “There are several copied shows that are coming to India but we knew that there is room for the original format. So when we bought the show there was big amount of interest.” he said.


Throwing light on the research done before launching the show, Sharma informed, “We observed other channels and the shows that they have launched. We studied the industry, talked to experts and the right people for this format and then started planning. We also studied the show formats of other countries including Germany’s Next Top Model and Australia’s Next Top Model. The whole process took a lot of time to figure out the right formula of India’s Next Top Model.”


MTV has carried out multiple brand integrations on the show with the likes of Tresemme, Lakme and Amazon. Highlighting the role of brands in the show, Sharma said, “The show is centred on fashion and beauty so it is relatable content for FMCG brands. The hair transformation episode received a great response from Tresemme. They actually transformed the way girls looked and made them feel like aspiring models. We did another episode called the ‘Make Up challenge with Lakme.’ Amazon is our wardrobe partner, which helps us in their styling.” 


Primarily known for its youth centric shows, MTV burnt the mid-night oil to ensure that the show was promoted and presented well to the audience.


The proof is in the pudding as the debut season’s runaway success only goes on to show that MTV has tapped right into the heart of an insight.


MTV India EVP and business head Aditya Swamy said, “Fashion and style is a huge part of every young person’s individuality. We believe there is a model hidden in every young girl and all it takes is the right platform to make her a Top Model. It’s been a dream run working with these young girls, our judges and mentors and the entire production team at CBS, Bulldog and Face TV. We look forward to making this into a multi season landmark franchise.”


When a show of international format is brought to India it gets moulded to local tastes, while keeping the target audience in mind. While Bulldog Media & Entertainment didn’t tamper with the original format, a few tweaks were made keeping in mind the Indian viewers. “We didn’t try to change the format but we have tried to add some spice to the show. We showed what others girls think, who should stay and who should go. We played with the extra drama, which we don’t get to see internationally. So these are the small things that add spark and zing, which Indian viewers like to see,” Sharma said.


Following the trend of multiple seasons, he said, “We are still in our eighth week of the first season, while America’s Next Top Model is in its 22nd season. So yes, definitely we will come up with more seasons. We are looking at a long term franchise with India’s Next Top Model. The next season should be the summer of 2016.”


India’s Next Top Model airs on Sunday nights at 7 pm on MTV.

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