TRP war on GECs shifts focus to kids based reality shows

By Sumantha Rathore , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Media | May 03, 2010
Zee, Colors and Sony are betting high on kids' dance reality shows for the prime time slot

It's kids vs kids time at three general entertainment channels (GECs) - Sony, Colors and Zee. The three GECs are betting high on kids' dance reality shows for the prime time slot.

While Colors' Chak Dhoom Dhoom, Chhote Dancers Badi Jung slotted for every Friday and Saturday at 9 pm went on air on April 30, Zee TV's Dance India Dance (DID) Li'l Masters hit the TV screens the same day at 9:30 pm. Sony Television is tentatively poised to launch the new season of Boogie Woogie on the 9 pm slot from May 19. All three shows are of an hour long format. Sony is still working out the details of the slot.

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Apart from similar show timings and telecast days, Chak Dhoom Dhoom and DID Li'l Masters have a stark resemblance in the format as well. Sixteen contestants, who have been chosen from 45,000 children across 13 cities for DID Li'l Masters, will compete with each other for 14 weeks. Similarly, Colors claims that 10,000 kids auditioned for the show in six cities, of which 16 selected contestants will compete against each other over a period of 13 weeks.

Speaking on the show been pitted against two more kids' dance reality shows, Rameet Arora, marketing head, Colors, says, "The carefully handpicked and most unique child talent is at the centre stage of the Chak Dhoom Dhoom campaign. Every show has its own personality and uniqueness. We're confident that our unique talent, anchors and judges, along with a host of innovations, will make the show a league of its own."

Chak Dhoom Dhoom is a new concept for Colors and the channel is trying various marketing activities. The campaign is being promoted with a 360 degree plan that includes television, print (in 85 cities), radio and outdoor (in more than 50 cities).

The channel also has some innovations such as the 'Chak Dhoom Dhoom-Make your own dance album' road show, where children across the country will get a chance to do spontaneous dance performances, which will be recorded and can be kept as a personal memory. Other activities such as flash mobs, tie ups with RWAs and community screenings in Delhi, Indore, Lucknow and Ahmedabad are also on the cards.

Zee is already riding on the success of Dance India Dance and DID Lil Masters seems to be a logical extension of the format. Akash Chawla, marketing head, Zee is unperturbed by the competition. He says that the product, which is the best, will stand out in due course of time.

Sony's Boogie Woogie is one of the early starters in the dance reality genre and the channel is confident that the 15 year old show needs no introduction. Ajay Bhalwankar, programming head, Sony, says, "While the other channels are doing it for the first time and may need to put in extra effort in promoting the shows, we will also take up adequate marketing during the right time. The new season of the show will be a clean format and will focus purely on talent and non-stressful environment."

Industry experts are gung-ho about these reality shows. Experts are unanimous in their decision that DID Li'l Masters, thanks to the popularity garnered by the adult format, will be the favourite amongst the advertisers, giving Zee an edge over the the other two shows.

"It looks like a coincidence that so many channels are targeting the same set of audiences at the same time. However, going by the performance of the recently concluded DID Season 2, , DID Li'l Masters will be preferred over the others," says Sriram Sharma, general manager, Bengaluru, Starcom.

On the other hand, Bhavna Jha, general manager, TME India is of the opinion that the monies will be split between DID Li'l Masters and Boogie Woogie. "Zee and Sony will be on equal footing. Boogie Woogie is an old show which has been performing well and has a consistent set of advertisers going strong with it for many years. Things won't change for it. Similarly, DID has worked well and that will work in favour of DID Li'l Masters."

According to the experts, as far as ad rates are concerned, Boogie Woogie commands an average of Rs 35,000 per 10 seconds; DID ad rates are in the range of Rs 90,000-1 lakh and Chak Dhoom Dhoom is priced at Rs 1-1.5 lakh.

However, many believe that Colors might have to club the property with some other show to maintain the high ad rate.

Another media expert has a word of caution for the GECs and says that now that IPL is over, everyone is getting back to their flagship programming strategies, "but we should not forget that though IPL is over there are other cricketing events lined up, such as the T-Twenty World Cup that will happen at the prime time. How these new shows will perform depends on how India performs at the upcoming tournament."