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Does KBC 11 have what it takes to lure advertiser interest?

Coming in the second half of the year after three major events that saw heavy ad investment in the first half, ‘Kaun Banega Crorepati’ (KBC) Season 11 has its work cut out to attract advertising monies.

The 11th Season of KBC is slated to release on Sony Entertainment Television (SET) around mid-August and will see Amitabh Bachchan take on the mantle of the show’s host for yet another season.

SET has launched a campaign, called #AdeyRaho, conceptualised, written and directed by Nitish Tiwari, to create awareness about the forthcoming show.

Brand Play

This year, mobile handset brand OPPO has come on board as ‘Presenting’ sponsor. It remains to be seen which other brands will join the roster of sponsors for the show.

Last year, Vivo and Mahindra Marazzo had backed the show as ‘Co-powered by’ sponsors along with advertisers Jio, Raymond, Big Bazaar, Asian Paints, Axis Bank, and Syska Wires & Cables.

Read More: KBC launches campaign announcing 11th season

KBC’s popularity will remain undiminished this year, opine several media planners. Brand categories such as mobile handsets, automobiles, BFSI, and service providers have been key buyers of the property in the past and are expected to associate with it once again.

Sujata Dwibedy, EVP, Head of Buying & Trading, Amplifi India, remarked, “KBC is one of the most sought-after reality shows which cuts across gender, age and different pop-strata. It has its own uniqueness in terms of content. Has a huge fan following and most of all, the biggest celebrity hosts it! So, for advertisers it is the best mix for reaching out across multiple audiences. In terms of viewership, huge co-viewing and huge recall. The brands which want to have an emotional connect with the masses love to ride on this.”

Pranabir Singh, Director – Media Planning, DCMN India, explained, “Now that 3 key events are over (IPL, Elections, ICC World Cup), it is an important season for brand categories such as consumer durables and automobiles in the market as they will try to capitalise on the festive season. Key e-commerce players will also try to actively leverage the property. If players such as Amazon or Flipkart plan sales activities such as Prime Day or Big Billion Days, then they may choose to ride on the property.”

There are many brands which always get active around the festive season and for such brands, KBC is one of the best shows to get a good impact and recall. From branding opportunities to integrating within the content and getting mentions by the anchor himself, there are enough options within the property. Experts opined that it worked extremely well for brands last year and should work well again this year. Brands are aware that good content, pulls good audience in today’s context.

Inventory Play

Interestingly, in the previous year, KBC sold out most of its inventory before the show launched (on September 3). Sony Pictures Networks India had leveraged their OTT platform, SonyLIV, to drive audience engagement for the show with their feature ‘Play Along’ for the first time. SonyLIV reported that as many as 596 million interactions had been recorded for the 10th season of the reality show during its run. The feature was used on 360 million smartphone devices and 76.7 per cent of the players who used the feature were in the 18-40 age group, primarily the millennials.

As per published reports, Sony Entertainment Television has hiked the ad rates for Season 11, charging Rs 4 lakh for a 10-second slot during the show. Last year, SET pegged ad rates between Rs 3 lakh and Rs 3.5 lakh for 10 seconds.

However, industry sources that Adgully spoke to maintained that ad rates for the show would fluctuate between Rs 2 lakh and Rs 2.5 lakh per 10 seconds. SET may not hike ad rates this year in a bid to attract more advertisers on the show.

Singh believes that the big advertisers have spent their monies on the 3 key events at the beginning of the year. Having said that, people who are looking to drive campaigns throughout the year and brands who are trying to tap into festive spends will be keen on associating with the property. “To my mind, they would not hike the ad rates due to these reasons and maintain the rates from last year. This will make it easier for them to on board brands and also help gain the trust of clients who have associated with KBC in the past,” he added.

In 2018, engagement from the Hindi belt - Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Bihar, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh - rose significantly. Last year, as the 10th season drew to a close in October, BARC India reported 7,380 (000) impressions [HSM (Urban) : NCCS All : 2+ Individuals]. The show has consistently delivered 2-2.5 million impressions for all target groups.

Digital Play

Through all these years, KBC has had its own set of loyal viewers. People have grown up watching KBC and aspiring to be a part of it. SET has made a smart move by creating an engagement platform through digital. Prior to last year, they created an engagement route through Jio as it was picking up in the market. They created an engagement platform where people sitting at home were needed to pick the correct answers to the questions on television and ultimately win money. Now, SET is driving that engagement through SonyLIV.

“Viewers are now also downloading the games around KBC or trying to engage through the offline questions. That is the power of KBC, with mass reach and equally powerful engagement set-up. Unlike cricket and elections, which are still skewed towards the male audience, KBC is viewed across audiences and across age groups. Kids as young as 12-year old love watching the questions and take pride in answering them. Brands who want to reach across audience prefer associating with it. Also, it has a lasting recall value because of the seamless integrations and is a credible platform. On a lighter note, it is also not priced as exorbitantly as the media properties such as IPL, Elections and ICC World Cup, so it works for a lot of brands,” explained Dwibedy.

Recall & Legacy

KBC is one of the longest airing reality shows on television and has built a strong bond with audiences over the years. It has a long legacy. It started with Amitabh Bachchan. When he fell ill, they roped in Shah Rukh Khan, but brought back Bachchan in Season 4. Until then, the show was residing with Star Plus, but SET acquired the show in 2010. They started to capitalise on the show’s GRPs and soon it became one of their tentpole shows. It gradually started becoming a cash cow for the channel.

However, as an industry expert pointed out, 2014 was a disaster for KBC because SET tried to bring the show back during the peak season April-May when IPL promotions were quite heavy. That season bombed both in terms of viewership and revenues. The broadcaster made a smart course correction and returned in 2017, releasing the show during the festive season. Pre-festive and festive period was the key reason for their success that year. It became one of their tentpole shows after ‘The Kapil Sharma Show’.

KBC tried to get into showcasing the personal struggles of contestants, which made it look monotonous for the audience and caused a dip in viewership. Now their focus has turned to the questions asked during the show and making it more participatory for the audience. The quiz aspect has now become the core of the show.

A look at KBC promos since Sony Entertainment Television acquired the show in 2010, conceptualised by Leo Burnett.

2010 promo – Koi SawaalChotaNahiHota

2011 promo – Koi BhiInsaanChotaNahiHota

2012 promo – SirfGyaan Hi AapkoApnaHaqDilata Hai

2013 promo – Seekhna Band TohJeetna Band

2017 promo – Jawaab dene kaWaqt aa gayaHai

2018 promo – KabTakRokoge

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