The family entertainment channel from Multi Screen Media, SAB TV has crafted a niche for itself as a comedy channel. To extend its brand positioning as a fun-filled family entertainment channel, SAB TV has extended its characters through the Facebook gaming app, SABurbia.
SABurbia is a city with a police station where Chandramukhi Chautala and her team (FIR) hold sway. The city has a colony called Lapataganj, with all the characters of the show by the same name. It also has Gokuldham Society with all the families such as the Gada parivar, Bhide family, Sodi and Mr Mehta. Chidiyaghar and R K Laxman Ki Duniya are also a part of this town.
A shopping complex in SABurbia helps the player to complete the tasks given by the various citizens.
The channel had tied up with Apar Games, which has built the game for SAB TV. Currently, there are about 25,000 active users of the game on Facebook.
Anooj Kapoor, executive vice-president and business head, SAB TV, says, "We always try to look for newer ways to establish touch points with the consumer. Launching SABurbia on Facebook was a way to connect with the age group of 15-24 years in order to give them a complete brand experience in an interesting manner."
The channel has targeted both the loyal SAB audiences and the non-SAB audiences. The game will be available for longer durations and the channel may also launch different versions of the game depending on the shows and their popularity. Kapoor adds that in the existing game, the characters were included on the basis of popularity on the channel.
SAB TV also plans to extend the game to the mobile platform through launches on smartphones, iPhones, Android devices and Windows tabs at a later stage.
Meanwhile, the channel has also extended the gaming experience on the offline platform by launching a board game with the same name. SAB TV joined hands with Pegasus International (which is a major Indian toy and board game maker, operating under the brand name 'Toy Kraft') for the manufacture and distribution of the board game, SABurbia.com.
Kapoor explains that the basic idea behind the launch was to surprise consumers and non-consumers for impact. The channel attempts to connect at a place where the consumers least expect brand presence, thus creating more impact and increasing their interest in sampling.
The board game also depicts characters from the channel and has a few instances where the player has to send an SMS, 'SABurbia', to 54545 to know the reward (extra points) given to him/her during the game. The aim behind the SMS integration, says Kapoor, is to motivate consumers to stay more involved with the game and hence the brand.
Anuj Mehta, spokesperson and the co-owner, Pegasus International, says, "For the board game SABurbia, we have tweaked the game rules a little to make it relevant to the brand and more interesting. There are no age barriers and so it is a thorough family entertainer. The unique selling point of the game is to bargain. To bargain is a typical Indian trait that's realistic and will be enjoyed by all players. The target audience for the first time is not only children and gamers, but the entire spectrum of SAB TV viewers."
The game will be available in 42 major cities in stores like Landmark, Crossword, Hamleys, Shoppers Stop and Planet M. The cities include key markets like Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Gurgaon, Ahmedabad, Lucknow, Bhopal, Indore, Baroda and Jaipur. In its initial roll-out, a total of 2,000 pieces will be available in stores. The game will be aggressively promoted on television, print and outdoor and digital media platforms. Moreover, on-ground activations will also be carried out in malls to generate curiosity and buzz around the product.
The two formats of games intend to give SAB TV an alternate touch-point with its audiences, over and above conventional media such as TV, print, OOH and online. Moreover, it also gives people a chance to get to know more about the other shows on the channel. The channel plans to get the viewer interested in all its shows, thus increasing viewership and building the brand.
SAB TV has also rolled out jokes and comic strips involving the characters on Facebook as well as mobiles. Kapoor adds, "Jokes are very popular whether on mobile or internet. Being the only comedy channel in the country, this was a huge opportunity for us to create jokes centred around our characters in order to increase brand salience in a typical brand-centric, light hearted manner."