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KBC 7: Sony eyes 20 per cent increase in ad revenue despite inventory cut

Despite the upcoming 10+2 ad cap regulation and less episodes, it seems the channel is quite optimistic about the increase in the show's ad revenue.

Kaun Banega Crorepati, one of the game-changing shows of Indian television reality space, is coming back in its seventh season, with its most celebrated host, Amitabh Bachchan.

KBC 7

The show is expected to go on-air sometime in end-August or early September, depending on the culmination of the singing reality show, Indian Idol 6, on the channel.

Produced by Big Synergy, KBC Season 7 has already got eight sponsors on board and the channel is looking at roping in 9-10 sponsors for the show this season. While Cadbury and Idea have come back as title and powered by sponsors, the associate sponsors include Axis Bank, Ceat, Akash Tutorials, Just Dial, Maruti and Lava Mobiles.

Rohit Gupta, president, network sales, licensing and telephony, MSM, says, "KBC is our biggest property and we continue to get great response from advertisers for the show. We are expecting to grow by 20 per cent this season."

Rohit Gupta
Shekhar Banerjee
Shashi Shankar
Manisha Lath Gupta
Gaurav Seth
Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari

It is pertinent to note here that KBC 7 will be launched at a time when the 10+2 ad cap regulation will be nearing its execution, the deadline being October 1. The channel is also decreasing the total number of episodes. Season 7 of KBC will run for 37-38 episodes this year, compared to 58 episodes last year.

According to Gupta, KBC is a premium property and almost 70 per cent ad inventories of the show have already been sold. The figures will rise to 80-85 per cent when the remaining sponsors come on board. Hence, 80-85 per cent ad inventories this season will be consumed by the sponsors and the rest will be sold to spot buyers.

Shekhar Banerjee, SVP, Madison Pinnacle (which handles Cadbury), says, "Typically RoI decides whether or not we have to go about any reality show or talent show. Buying for Cadbury depends on the RoI based analytics drawn by the internally built proprietary researches. We have a scientific decision making process about choosing a property and evaluating how the property is doing on brand KPI (key performance indicator)."

"Year after year, with the great integrations that are happening with KBC across seasons, we have been getting brilliant RoIs hence we are continuing with the partnership. It's a brilliant association for both of us," Banerjee adds.

Shashi Shankar, chief marketing officer, Idea Cellular, says, "It's been over three-four years since we have been associating with KBC and it has been beneficial to us. Hence, we are continuing with the association. KBC is a mass programme and it reaches right up to our target group. It appeals to all kinds of audiences across gender and age and is in line with what we have in our mind."

Axis Bank's association with KBC will be running in its 4th year in 2013. Manisha Lath Gupta, executive vice-president and head, marketing, Retail Liabilities & Electronic Banking, Axis Bank suggest that Axis Bank is not just a sponsor but an integral part of the show as the cheque given to the winner is branded by us.

"As a brand, we believe in the idea of progress which is continuous in nature or 'Badhti Ka Naam Zindagi', this again resonates very strongly with the idea of KBC which is about achieving milestones (through the different achievement levels in the show format)," she adds.

The financial brand also did collaborative on-ground activations last year and on the digital medium, it was associated with kbcsony.com. "This has helped us not only build our brand salience over the years but has also driven preference for the brand amongst consumers," Lathgupta.

Big push

The channel has already kicked-off the marketing and promotional activities for the much-awaited show. Gaurav Seth, marketing head, Sony, says, "KBC is a mass reach property and it's the biggest thing we do on television. The idea is to broad base the message as much as we can, not only on television but on other media as well."

The show will be promoted across MSM network channels through 2000+ ad spots. The channel will also promote the show across 40 channels outside the network, including a mix of news, music, regional and showbiz channels. On outdoor, there will be billboards and other properties across 15 cities of the country.

Sony will also promote the show on the digital medium in a big way. "We will move into other media in a phased manner- mobile, digital. We are including each and every touch point we can and are giving a big hard push strategy to marketing, leading up to the launch of the show. We will try and customise the message - 'Seekhna band to jeetna band', as suitable for the different media."

There will be different interpretations of the campaign for radio and print. The channel will also do an on-ground activity, 'Hot seat aapke sheher', across 12 cities (including Mumbai, Delhi, Pune, Nagpur, Jaipur, Indore and Ahmedabad). The activity will give a feel factor to the audiences where they will get to sit on the hot seat, with computer screens and Amitabh Bachchan asking the questions.

Talking about the importance of active marketing despite KBC being an established show, Seth says, "One always wants to attract more audience. This is such a competitive and fragmented space. There are over 400 channels and we are vying for the same set of audience. While the brand is known, yet we need to communicate. With this campaign we aim to attract newer audiences, retain older and build excitement about the property."

While Leo Burnett has worked on the creative of the campaign, the media buying duties are being handled by OMD. The social media agency is Tonic Media. Madison's OOH arm, MOMS, is responsible for the outdoor media.

Growing on television

Sony Entertainment Television has recently launched the television campaign, 'Seekhna band, toh jeetna band'. The campaign sheds light on the paramount importance of diligent learning in today's day and age, where competing minds and advancing technologies continuously expand the realms of human understanding.

Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari, executive creative director, Leo Burnett, says, "The insight came from a simple fact that when we fail to learn, we fail to grow and life stops there itself. This is true to our country, which is also taking massive steps towards development. We wanted to emphasise through an entertaining campaign idea on how crucial it has become for one to keep learning the ever-changing tricks of his or her chosen life path."

Directed by Amit Sharma of Chrome Pictures, the campaign comprises four television commercials.

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