Television

Partnership with Kapil Sharma will attract more advertisers: Sony Yay business head

The Hunny Bunny Show with Kapil Sharma already has 3 sponsors, with others lined up

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MUMBAI: With schools closed and few opportunities to have fun outside, kids have been cooped up indoors. Parents, busy with their own work from home gigs or just tired from constant child-rearing, plonked their charges in front of TV sets to keep them occupied and out of their hair. This led to a surge in viewership in the kids' category - and Sony Pictures Network India (SPNI) has capitalized on it by roping in comedian Kapil Sharma and teaming him up with two popular toon characters to present the Honey Bunny Show with Kapil Sharma.

Airing on Sony Yay!, the series of nine mini-episodes of hilarious sketches featuring Honey Bunny and Kapil Sharma aims to pull the entire family in by targeting parents and kids between the age of six to eight. SPNI kids’ genre business head Leena Lele Dutta said the collaboration with Sharma is specifically timed for the festive period of Dussehra–Diwali.

The show will be broadcast across the network and all digital platforms on a regular basis. The channel has already roped in three sponsors – Toppr, Crax rings and Sunfeast Yippee noodles – and  are on the verge of closing more. Sony Yay! doesn’t have brand integration within the show as the content piece stays for life. It facilitates sponsorship through solutions, like a one-minute chaser or capsules.

Dutta went on to reveal that the channel is planning to use BTL and ATL to promote the Honey Bunny Show with Kapil Sharma. “Furthermore, we will also reach out to the deeper pockets across the length and breadth of the country through van activations across 50 cities. We have also planned a host of online engagements and mobile game releases. Along with all this, we are also exploring interesting initiatives via AR and VR on Instagram, and influencer programs.”

Advertising is gradually gaining traction and coming back on track, especially in the last two months, claimed Dutta. The first quarter witnessed a lull, but with signs of recovery evident now, a lot of new categories have sprung up for advertisement. “We are back on our inventory levels and the outlook for next few months looks positive. We are providing added benefit to the brands and businesses to come on board and be a part of our big-ticket shows by combining our on-air shows with our digital inventories, and presenting a chance for advertisers to enhance their 360 degree presence,” she added.

The channel is also looking at localization of content and gaining market share. Hence, all the Hindi-language shows are dubbed into Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Bangla and Marathi. Sony YAY! will soon introduce two additional regional language feeds. Their end goal is to serve relatable and engaging and entertaining content for their young audiences, said Dutta.

The network will pile on the fun on top of festivities by adding more than 60 hours of fresh content. In addition to newly acquired Indian content, Sony Yay! has also introduced 24 hours of new episodes and telemovies of Honey Bunny and the first franchise film - Paap-O-Meter Under Attack. Along with The Honey Bunny with Kapil Sharma show it has added two new shows: Pyaar Mohabbat, Happy Lucky, which is a chase comedy, and Krishna Balram, the channel’s first foray into the mythological genre. The channel will also present endearing tales of Lord Krishna, depicting his life and times through movies - Krishna the Birth, Krishna Makhan Chor, Krishna in Vrindavan and Krishna Kansa Vadh.

Dutta also touched upon the competition TV shows face from YouTube, which has emerged as an alternative to traditional children’s programming. Although it would be more appropriate to say that both the platforms are merging, since there are plenty of children’s TV shows on YouTube now, she avers.

She pointed out that across India, 90 per cent  of households have a single TV and it’s generally considered for family viewing. Dutta doesn’t view YouTube as serious competition. According to her, the consumption on YouTube is added to the existing TV viewership.

“Our endeavour is to be present on every platform and format that our young audiences choose to consume content on. So, YouTube or any digital platform actually helps us to extend our offerings to our audiences across their consumption universe,” she concluded.

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