afaqs!

Marketing blitzkrieg ensures good opening for Indian Idol 4

By Sangeeta Tanwar , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Media Publishing | September 23, 2008
The launch episode garnered higher TRPs than its competitors managed in their debut episodes

The much & #BANNER1 & # awaited and eagerly promoted fourth season of the highly popular music reality show, Indian Idol, began on September 19 on Sony Entertainment Television (SET). SET India, in its bid to generate hype and curiosity for the show, has reportedly allocated a budget in the range of Rs 5-10 crore to embark on a marketing blitzkrieg.

The thinktank at SET India believes that Indian Idol connects better with the youth than any other music reality show. Preceding the debut of the show, Danish Khan, head, marketing, SET India, speaking to afaqs!, had said, "The show's USP is that it connects well with the youth, who perceive it as a platform to display their talent. This fact will be highlighted in all the communication for the show."

According to the first set of aMap ratings for the show, the launch episode of Indian Idol registered a TRP of 2.08 in CS4+, Hindi speaking metros - Mumbai, Delhi and Kolkata. The launch episodes of the other two strong contenders in the fray, Amul STAR Voice of India (VOI) and Zee's Hero Honda SaReGaMaPa Challenge had delivered TRPs of 1.73 and 1.42, respectively.

Going by the initial figures, it appears that the original show on the block has managed to pull in viewers on the sheer basis of affinity amongst its followers and the buzz created by the large scale marketing and promotional activities undertaken by SET.

Nandini DiasWhen it comes to comparing the fate of the three musical reality shows in six metros - Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Bengaluru and Chennai, Indian Idol garnered a TRP of 1.50 on the day it opened. In comparison, VOI debuted with a TRP of 1.31 and Hero Honda SaReGaMaPa Challenge, with a TRP of 1.05.

Media planners point out that it is too early to draw any indicative or significant conclusions from the data available. Nandini Dias, chief operating officer, Lodestar Universal, for one, believes that individual shows should no longer be solely judged on TRP figures alone. That's because today, there is a lot more fragmentation in the market, with the entry of a large number of channels in the last few years. In that context, if any show manages to deliver TRP ratings in the range of 2, it can be assumed that it has made a good beginning.

Dias adds, "It will be odd to compare three different shows on three different platforms because each platform has different dynamics. As such, almost all the channels have experienced erosion in their platform values. So, when it comes to Sony, if Indian Idol manages to figure, say, in the top five or 10 shows of the channel, one can safely say that the show is doing well for itself and the channel."

Another peculiarity that Dias points out is that today, more than the platform or channel, the content and the format of a show may do the trick for a channel. A ready example is the new channel, Colors, on which a new show, Fear Factor - Khatron Ke Khiladi ruled the roost; at the same time, a show such as Big Boss too is delivering, maybe as well as it did in its last season on Sony.

Others point out that generally, music and dance reality shows tend to do well for channels. At the end of the day, what matters are loyalty and that extraordinary element that might fuel the viewer's imagination. Competing in the same genre, there would be a fair amount of fight for viewers.

Albert Almeida, business head, SET India, however, refused to react on the initial aMap figures. He believes that data and the market taken for any sort of comparison at this point of time are too small and premature to indicate or determine conclusions for Indian Idol.

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