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KBC: Have Gyaan, will win

KBC's ad campaign celebrates the power of 'Gyaan' or knowledge, something that is deemed to be the biggest societal leveller.

All set to be launched on September 7, Kaun Banega Crorepati (KBC) Season 6 has started creating waves of anticipation. Much credit for this goes to the ad campaign that has hit TV screens, conceptualised by Leo Burnett, the creative agency for Sony Entertainment Television (SET).

KBC

In sync with the core values of both the show and the channel, the communication theme this time is 'Sirf Gyaan Hi Aapko Aapka Haq Dilata Hai'. The campaign highlights the power of knowledge and depicts knowledge as a potent agent of change and the greatest leveller in the face of gender, lineage and language-based biases in society.

This thought is delivered to the consumers through four films directed by Chrome Pictures' Amit Sharma. Each spot has a distinct story line and central character, and addresses one specific bias.

Anup Vishwanathan
Danish Khan
Nitesh Tiwari

According to Anup Vishwanathan, executive vice-president, Leo Burnett Mumbai, "The KBC campaign identifies with the hope that people have in them. And, that's the factor we wanted to leverage in our campaign. This is also in sync with brand SET that is all about positive emotions."

Danish Khan, senior vice-president and marketing head, SET, explains that the objective is to bring this thought alive with real people in real contexts. "The philosophy of the campaign rests on a common man's beliefs and is relevant to today's India," he says. The campaign is an attempt to reach out to a larger set of audience and provide the 'common man' with the opportunity to change his destiny.

Quick recap

The 'common man' premise has worked wonders for KBC in the past. Here's a look at the previous campaign themes:

In KBC's first season, the campaign focused on two factors, namely, the huge prize money and the host, superstar Amitabh Bachchan. Consequently, campaigns such as 'Ek crore mein kitne zero hote hain?' and 'Nau baj gaye kya?' were created to generate hype around the show.

For the second season, christened 'Kaun Banega Crorepati - Dwitiya', the campaign revolved around the stories of an aspiring cricketer and a Bollywood struggler, and spoke about how they could make it big with KBC. The punch line used was 'Umeed se dugna'.

The third season had a new host in tow - Shah Rukh Khan. His introduction in the campaign was done with a fast-paced music track featuring Khan himself. The ad was based on the insight that a single question could change one's life. 'Ek sawaal jo aapki zindagi badal de' was the line used.

In the communication that heralded the fourth season, Burnett launched a four-phased ad campaign hinged on the theme 'Koi bhi sawaal chhota nahi hota'. The idea was to promote curiosity and propagate the thought that no question is small or stupid. The old Hindi adage 'Koi bhi gyaan vyarth nahi jaata' (no knowledge is ever wasted) was the inspiration behind this insight.

Last year, the ad campaign for KBC Season 5 improvised on this theme and extended it to 'Koi bhi insaan chhota nahi hota'. The genesis of this extension was in the popular Indian societal belief that when given the right opportunity, everybody is capable of achieving the extraordinary.

Nitesh Tiwari, national creative resource, Leo Burnett, Mumbai, admits that after having churned out the 'Koi bhi sawaal chhota nahi hota' and 'Koi bhi insaan chhota nahi hota' campaigns, it was very challenging for the agency to think of something that matched up to these two successful themes.

"It wasn't an easy task for me and my team to come up with something equally interesting, if not better. Thankfully, we have a client who understands that good campaigns need to be given the time they deserve. So we were given enough time to struggle till we arrived at this thought," he says.

Ashish Khazanchi
Amit Kekre

Besides TV, this insight will be delivered across media channels including print, outdoor and online. The ads will feature Bachchan, the game show host.

Million dollar insight?

Ashish Khazanchi, national creative director and vice-chairperson, Publicis Ambience, likes the ads, especially the 'English medium' and 'Bada baap' films. "They are well written and have lots of killer lines that stick - like, 'Arre tu bhaga nahi, abhaga hai' and 'Saari English aaj hi bol dega kya?' - They come straight from the gut of the heartland. It's always great to see nicely written ads."

Khazanchi opines that the ads go forward to take the brand closer to Indian grassroots and have a deep connect with the way "middle-India" thinks. He adds, "The concept of 'underdog wins' is always a good plot and has been used well in KBC campaigns in the past as well." For him, this campaign hits the sweet spot.

Amit Kekre, planning head, Mudra West also appreciates the campaign. "From an insight perspective, I quite like the ads. The insight that 'knowledge knows no barriers' works. Depicting knowledge as the most precious asset in life is nice."

Kekre feels the ads are enjoyable and make an emphatic point. He however adds that he would've preferred the execution to be a few notches simpler.

When compared to the past KBC campaigns, he feels the current one falls a tad short. "I like the earlier creative renditions of KBC better. From an execution point of view the earlier films seemed larger and more seamless," he explains, adding that the previous ads brought a smile to his face, something that is missing this time.

Follow Ashwini Gangal

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