Ruchika Jha

Glance's smart screen strategy: From Bigg Boss 17 integrations to global markets with gen-AI

Bikash Chowdhury, CMO, Glance, discusses brand strategy, Jio Cinema partnership, Cricket World Cup, global market, Gen-AI, and more.

Glance, the Indian smart lock screen platform, has joined hands with the well-known reality show Bigg Boss Season 17 as its official Smart Lock Screen partner. Under this partnership, Glance and Bigg Boss have introduced various integrations and experiences for both contestants and fans.

Given this season's theme, Dil, Dimaag Aur Dum, the Glance Smart Lock Screen will have a significant role for participants in the Dimaag makaan. This marks the first instance in which contestants in the Dimaag house will receive exclusive updates, insider information, and useful tips to aid in their strategic gameplay within the house, facilitating smarter gameplay.

Talking about the alignment of the brand’s strategy with the show’s vision, Bikash Chowdhury, chief marketing officer, Glance says that the show and its viewer shell are huge. More users of Glance’s site intersect with that audience.

“For the first time, a real active screen or a mobile device is present in the house with Glance. The screen in the Dimaag house is being used now by the show to give tips. Players who are watching the screen get ideas of how to play the game,” he notes.

The introduction of cell phones for the show's contestants has proven to be advantageous, considering that they previously lacked a means of communication and staying informed. Chowdhury explains that from Monday to Thursday, Glance shows the content of gameplay for the contestants which is also visible to its audience.

“We recently launched a contest where three users of Glance will get a chance to meet Salman Khan on the sets and watch the show directly. So the integration benefits both the contestants and the audience. The daily integration gives tips to contestants and those tips can be used differently by players. We used the construct of the product - new information every time one switches on the lock screen, to give tasks to the players,” he adds.

In discussions regarding the pre-partnership considerations with Bigg Boss, he mentioned that one of the primary challenges involved devising the brand's storytelling strategy. “The moment you start to think of you being part of the content, you have to start thinking about what is it that the viewers of Bigg Boss or any other reality show want,” he says.

Before tying up with Bigg Boss, Glance also collaborated with Jio Cinema during the Indian Premiere League (IPL) 2023. Chowdhury said that the integration was with consumers and the platform. “We found that sports update is a very powerful use case for consumers because not everybody is watching cricket match all the time. Here with Glance, you can easily access the real-time updates on your lock screen. This is the insight we tapped into,” he notes.

It has been three weeks since Glance joined hands with Bigg Boss for its collaboration. Discussing the plans for collaborating with other shows beyond Bigg Boss, Chowdhury highlights that as of now, the team is focussed on making sure that the integration and engagement numbers look good.

“We will review our performance in the next quarter, understand where we are standing, and then decide what will be our future course of action. The DNA of the show also has to be such that it serves our objective. In the case of a reality show such as Bigg Boss, the viewers stay with the programme for 90 days or 115 days or 105 days. Therefore, there is an opportunity to consistently be able to share the message and create a brand presence,” he observes.

Glance Smart Lock Screen in Bigg Boss house
Glance Smart Lock Screen in Bigg Boss house

When asked about how Glance is helping users to stay updated with World Cup scores, Chowdhury states, “We have created a World Cup tab where users could go in and watch the scores and keep track of what's happening.”

After garnering 200 million users in India, Glance has expanded into international markets such as Brazil, Colombia, Indonesia, Japan, and Mexico. “There is a content, moderation, and technology team that is coming together to make sure that the right content is available to the right users at the right time. Similarly in Indonesia, we have a full-fledged content team that understands local nuances and culture and is chartered to create a content strategy for that market. We use generative AI in all our markets. In Japan, Glance has team members from the country and has the same setup in Mexico and Colombia. Technology has a big role to play but it is important to stay tuned to the local tradition so that when you put out content, it would make sense to the market.”

Chowdhury says that Glance is driven by AI and was introduced much before ChatGPT. “In each of these markets, we have to create content that has to be culturally localised for instance, in India, the content that we create has to be relevant for consumers. We are present in seven languages in the country. Therefore, within the country, we have to be locally relevant,” he says.

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