Can’t look at just the ratings for a show like Bigg Boss:Raj Nayak

Colors has associated with the Pinkathon women’s run and this year, the run would be known as Colors Pinkathon – Empowering Indian Women with Bajaj Electricals India as the Inspiring Partners. Committed to put women forward, Colors has extended its support to this cause by partaking in spreading the message of ‘wellbeing of women’ through this initiative. 

At a press meet to announce the fifth edition of the women’s only run, Raj Nayak, CEO - Hindi Mass Entertainment, Viacom18, said, “This year, Pinkathon will be known as Colors Pinkathon and hopefully will add more vibrant colours to all the women participating in the Marathon. Women have always been an integral part of our lives – be it at home or even at the workplace. Be it a businesswoman, sportswoman, homemaker or au naturel, it’s their values and instincts that drive the entire world. Women leaders form my backbone, here at Colors, and play a major role in every decision which furthers our business objectives and goals. In fact, women empowerment is also a core philosophy that we maintain even in our bouquet of offerings to our viewers. We are firm believers of women empowerment and this association, with Pinkathon, is our way to say thank you to the women who strive to make our lives easier every single day.” 

Adgully caught up with Raj Nayak to know more about Colors’ association with Pinkathon, supporting social causes, ‘Bigg Boss’, demonetisation and more. Excerpts: 

The Pinkathon association - how did it come about? What is the reason for this association and what does it entail?
Milind Soman (founder of Pinkathon) spoke to me about Pinkathon and I was very fascinated by the fact that women will actually come on their own and run the marathon. It was something that I could not visualise, but when I saw how Pinkathon has grown from one city to multiple cities, from 2,000 participants in the first run to 11,000 people who ran in the last edition, it’s very inspiring and the fact that not only are women coming out and running for their own health and also to prove that women can do it, but more importantly, also because even visually impaired women are coming and running. You will see people across age-groups, in their 60’s, 50’s, 40’s, and 30’s, and not just 18-year olds, who are running – and all of them running for a cause. 

So we said that we would like to be a partner and would like to take it to the next level. We had mentioned this earlier as well, in India, a majority of women hardly go for health check-ups, leave alone do a mammography. I know young girls who go for health check-ups but don’t do certain check-ups and breast cancer is a major ailment. Probably in this case it is about breast cancer, but Pinkathon is not just about breast cancer, all issues concerning woman can come under the Pinkathon umbrella. Milind has started a great initiative and we are very proud to be a part of it. By lending our name and making it Colors Pinkathon, together this partnership will bloom over time. 

What is Colors’ strategy when it comes to associating with social causes and organisations involved with social issues?
We genuinely believe that as a responsible media broadcaster, we have a responsibility towards the society, so any issue related to woman we would like to be associated with it in some form or the other. If you see on our channel, we were the first ones to do a show on child marriage, we were the first to do a show on widow remarriage, we were the first to do a show on bonded labour, on the haves and have nots, we are the first broadcaster to do a show on transgender. We believe that whatever social issues that are there in our society, we as a responsible media broadcaster have a role to play because media is a very powerful tool and through our channel, in some way if we can give some kind of subtle message, it goes a long way. 

At the same time, we are also an organisation for profits, we are not a public broadcaster, so we have to entertain and that’s not going to change. But even while entertaining, I think we can in our own way pass on social messages and do programming on social issues. And in some cases where we may not be able to do on-air, we will try to do things on-ground. 

How much of a difference is introducing ‘common people’ in ‘Bigg Boss’ making in the show’s ratings in Season 10?
You see, for a show like ‘Bigg Boss’, you can’t look at just the ratings. It’s a very different thing. The audience that watches the show, we don’t have people meters at their houses; it’s a very urban show. We just look at the buzz. Apart from demonetisation, I don’t think any other topic has created as much as discussions as ‘Bigg Boss’. 

What are the focus areas for Colors in 2017?
Well, we will keep evolving. It’s very difficult to say what my focus areas are. As we keep moving forward, we keep bringing topics and ideas. We want to become India’s premium GEC broadcaster, but we also want in our own way to bring about a positive impact in the society. 

Media reports state that TV channels may lose around Rs 500 crore in ad revenues due to demonetisation. Your views on this.
I think demonetisation is a very good thing for the economy and will get rid of black money. However, I think in the short term it has definitely impacted advertising, because there has been major reaction by advertisers who are either pulling back or postponing their campaigns. Also, there has been a slowdown in the offtake of consumer goods in the market place. So I can understand that it’s a crash crunch situation, but I am sure that things will stabilise and return to normal in the next 3 to 5 months.


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