The K-serials may be dominating viewer mind space and indeed, the better half of the Top 100 list of programmes, but experiments such as Jassi Jaisi Koi Nahin, the Indian version of the hit Hispanic show Yo Soy Betty La Fea on Sony Entertainment Television, are playing catch up.
For the week ended November 8, 2003, in the base population of C&S 4-plus, all India, Jassi achieved a TVR of 5.1 - the highest so far for the show, and at the same time, a significant boost for the network. Traditionally, shows on Sony have hovered in the region of 2 and 3 with the most-watched programme excluding blockbuster movies, peaking at 3.2 or 3.3 respectively.
Jassi, however, has seen a steady increase in TVR figures, moving from an opening score of 2.7 in the first week of September to 3, 3.4, 3.7, 3.9, 4 and 4.6, over the last two months. The reason for its success, as a senior media planner with a Top 10 agency explains, lies in the universal appeal of the subject. "Jassi is an educated young woman, who is desirous of being something in life and will not stop at anything on her way to achieving it, despite the drawback of not being a looker. She is contemporary, witty and has a mind of her own, and in many ways is a reflection of the aspirations of the middle class," he says.
Indeed, this very aspirational quality of the central character is what drove the success of the original show in the Latin American as well as allied markets. "It is a pre-tested formula that has worked in several markets," says Atul Phadnis, director - S Group, TAM Media Research. "However, there have been other factors too that have contributed to its success such as the marketing around the show, which was superb. Sony left no stone unturned using online as well as offline media including radio, outdoor, print, flash mobs and PR," he adds.
Another important contributor to the success of the show has been the basic storyline and characterisation, the former moving at a reasonable pace without being too much of a "drag" and the latter, attempting to establish a realistic connect with viewers. "The characterisation as well as the selection of the production house to execute the project have been crucial to its success," says Phadnis. "Sony has got it right with the choice of a Punjabi family from where the protagonist hails and around whom the story revolves," he adds.
With the show having crossed the magic figure of 5 already, the question is what sort of height can Jassi scale. "As the ugly duckling turns into a swan, one could expect curiosity levels to increase," states Phadnis. © 2003 agencyfaqs!