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Colors ups investments to make ‘Bigg Boss’ bigger and better

MUMBAI: Colors promises to make the eighth edition of ‘Bigg Boss’ bigger and better, investing 20 per cent more on the big-ticket property this time.

The Salman Khan-hosted show will cost Colors Rs 120 crore (Rs 1.20 billion) upwards, a source said. The channel, however, is expecting the high-value but loss-making property to break-even this year as it combats with rival shows at the 9 pm slot.

CAPTAIN Salman at the take-off of Flight Bigg Boss 8 with Raj Nayak (CEO COLORS) Deepak Dhar (MD Endemol) and Kunal Bahl (CEO Snapdeal)

A better revenue start has been made with e-commerce major Snapdeal replacing Vodafone as the presenting sponsor for the show. Though the deal value is not disclosed, market estimates peg it at almost double the amount. Some media reports suggest the value at Rs 35 crore (Rs 350 million). Vodafone had a five-year association with the show, which has come to an end.

“Snapdeal is a brand with a young and dynamic team and understands the value of integration. You will see a lot of engagement with Snapdeal through the show and viewers, which you have never seen before. There is no other show that trends as much as ‘Big Boss’ does when it is launched. This time Snapdeal is very keen as they are from the virtual space and we also do unique initiatives on the digital space. Hence, there will be continuous engagement with the viewer in various forms,” Colors CEO Raj Nayak said.

The show will see a lot more unique integrations and there will be opportunity for the viewers to win vouchers, gifts and more which will help in engagement with the viewer. Besides amplification on Twitter and other platforms, Nayak stated that the channel is also considering selling ‘Big Boss’ merchandise on Snapdeal.

“We are exploring every possible avenue to make it bigger and build a lot more consumer engagement than the show has ever had before,” he added.

With competition hotting up in the Indian e-commerce space, Snapdeal’s marketing activities across various platforms will intensify. “The partnership was a strategic decision to reach out to the larger target audience. ‘Bigg Boss’ is a show which is followed across the country and we wanted to be associated with a name which has a high consumer recall,” said Snapdeal co-founder and CEO Kunal Bahl.

Nayak admitted that ‘Bigg Boss’ is a very expensive show and so the endeavour is to try and maximise revenues. “Compared to the previous season, we have increased ad rates by almost 30 per cent,” he said.

For the first time, the ‘driven-by’ sponsor category has been created, for which Maruti Suzuki has been roped in. Oppo Mobile is the powered-by sponsor, while the associate sponsors are Garnier Men, TVS Motors, Cardekho.com, Bisleri Urzza and JK Tyres.

Another avenue where the channel could monetise is digital through pre-roll and post-roll where live feeds of the show were available across various platforms in the previous season. This helped the channel garner anywhere from Rs 2 to 2.5 crore, states a media expert.

However, this year Colors will make the show feed available only on its official website, as the revenue last year was very scattered due to the large number of platforms.

“We will only give the feed to someone else if they are an on-air sponsor. In terms of monies, digital is still not very bright, but if you compare it with any other properties I think ‘Bigg Boss’ will be one of the highest revenue-earners even in the digital space,” Nayak stated.

He further added that every time the show is launched, the hope is that it will be better than the previous season. “The promos that we launched and the amount of buzz we have got this season is probably the highest one has ever seen either on social media or in respect of general feedback.”

Well before the announcement of the launch date, the channel generated a buzz around the show with its creative promos featuring host Khan as the pilot. This resulted in speculations among fans that the show would go international with some international contestants and the set would have an aviation theme. Although not confirmed yet, rumours are that the show will be based in Lonavala and the set will be designed around an aviation theme.

Produced by Endemol India, ‘Bigg Boss 8’ will launch on 21 September. It will feature 12 contestants living in the house for 90 days.

CAPTAIN Salman at the take-off of Flight Bigg Boss 8Endemol India MD Deepak Dhar said, “Endemol’s most successful reality format globally, ‘Bigg Boss’ 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. We hope that this season’s numerous surprises will have everybody glued to their televisions.”

This season, the marketing strategies will revolve around increasing the market penetration and connecting with new consumers. The route will encompass all the mediums across 200 cities and towns. Radio stations across 30 cities will be tapped, promotional content will be plugged in across 30 channels and an outdoor campaign will don the high walls at strategic locations in key cities.

On digital, viewers can source all the daily milestones via Facebook and Twitter. While Facebook will have a ‘Bigg Boss’-themed app to test the survival strategies of the player, Twitter will leak live information 24×7. The website will have uncensored videos and a ‘Khabri’ who will blog live updates. There will also be a mobile app which will beam the live feed to keep the viewers tuned in on the go.

Airing at 9 pm daily, the show will in this season face stiff competition with not one but two strong fiction properties from Star Plus and Zee TV.

However, Nayak stated that at any time slot the competition is strong; it’s a question of which show will do better. “We think 9–10 pm is a good strategy because it’s disruptive and if you are able to break the audience, maybe they will stay with you for your other shows as well.”

While the content will see its twists as per the theme, interventions will also be created through tasks which in turn create friction, romance and more to help steer the show and keep interest alive.

Nayak elaborated that the journey has been long and the decision taken two years back to make it a family show has paid off.

“More importantly, it is the peak time when viewers are there. Now the entire family sits and watches the show and that has helped us a lot. It has also helped us bring in sponsors a little more easily and making it a family show was the best learning for us,” he added.

With the general sentiment looking positive at the moment, Nayak expects the festive quarter to be very good in terms of business.

“Q1 and Q2 have been good, and we hope Q3 will be even better as we are in line with our targets and budgets. Hopefully, this will positively impact advertising, consumer sales and more,” he said.