Every show has an element of interactivity that we need to pioneer: Danish Khan
Sony Entertainment Television is all set to bring back its game show, ‘Dus Ka Dum’ after a gap of nine years. Season 3 of the show will also see the return of Salman Khan as the host. ‘Dus Ka Dum Season 3’ will go on air from June 4 and will be telecast at 9 pm twice a week on weekdays.
In a move to make the show more interactive to the digital generation as well as increase audience connect, Sony has launched an app for ‘Dus Ka Dum Season 3’ which will let viewers participate directly in the show from their homes. The app went live from yesterday, March 18, 2018.
There would be 40 levels, each one comprising 20 questions. There will be gifts after every level and the participants with the maximum scores would be chosen for an audition. Those who will clear the test will be invited to be on ‘Dus Ka Dum’ and play the game with Salman.
Adgully caught up with Danish Khan, Executive Vice President and Business Head, SET, and Amogh Dusad, SVP & Head Insights and Programming Strategy, Sony Pictures Networks, India, to know more about what’s in store in this new edition of ‘Dus Ka Dum’, the game up, on returning to air after a hiatus of nine years, and more. Excerpts:
How do you envisage ‘Dus Ka Dum Season 3’ to revolutionise the television viewing audience in India?
Danish Khan: Last year, when we did ‘Kaun Bahega Crorepati’, we took an initiative where 30 million people interacted. Our attempt is that this year between ‘KBC’, ‘The Kapil Sharma Show’ and other shows, every show has got an element of interactivity and we should be pioneering in that.
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What is the marketing strategy planned for the game show?
Danish Khan: The way marketing has evolved, I don’t think there is any problem reaching out to people. Earlier, the entire strategy was how to reach out to people. Today, the big challenge is not how to reach the audience, but with what would you reach the audience. So, the marketing has moved from media planning to creativity. For example, we own a media house. We do reach out to people in the digital space through SonyLIV, our FB page, Twitter, YouTube channel and through all the 30 channels that we have on our network. Therefore, reaching out to people is not an issue. So, we now spend time on creativity. For ‘The Kapil Sharma Show’, which will make its return soon, we did three spots in a short period, but we didn’t buy any other media. Each of these spots got 6-7 million views on YouTube and FB. To me, the content is marketing.
A lot of channels follow the strategy of airing promos on news channels. For the core communication, we air the promos only on our own channels. All other medium are relevant only for recency.
Who is the TG for ‘Dus Ka Dum Season 3’?
Danish Khan: It’s about the glamour of the show. The show is about consumer insight and not about bookish knowledge. It’s about the consumer insights that one gains in life and are presented in the most humorous and funny way. From that point of view, we wanted somebody who has lived life – he can’t be an youngster, but somebody who has vast experience, on who has related to it, who has travelled and seen the world. You need a host who can relate to people from different segments of the society. You need a person who can create content within a question.
Who are the sponsors on board for the show?
Danish Khan: For a show of this kind and the investments, the sponsorships should happen. I don’t think that would be an issue. But the most critical thing is that till the DNA of the host doesn’t match the DNA of the show, it doesn’t work. Like ‘KBC’ means Amitabh Bachchan, ‘The Kapil Sharma Show’ means Kapil Sharma, similarly ‘Dus Ka Dum’ means Salman Khan. It’s difficult to think of ‘Dus Ka Dum’ without Salman Khan.
Why go for weekdays for the show and not weekends?
Danish Khan: We have been continuously doing that from last three years. When I and my team joined, Sony was a 70-odd GRP channel and we have been building on that. We are the only channel that has grown, while every other channel has remained in their positions. The idea is that the early prime time should be more about middle-of-the-road content, then you have a great family unifier and you end with specific urban stories from 10 pm onwards. Last time, we did ‘KBC’ at 9 pm and then we had ‘Yeh Un Dino Ki Baat Hai’ at 10.30 pm, which worked very well for us.
However, there will be repeat telecast of ‘Dus Ka Dum’ on weekends.
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Sony is perceived as being an urban-based channel...
Danish Khan: As a channel, we have defined that we are an urban channel and we have continued to be that. If you look at BARC data, you will find that in the three metros and 1 million-plus market, Sony is either No.1 or No.2. It’s in the rural areas that we are slightly lagging behind. We think that we can make good TRPs from small towns, but that’s not our focus. Our focus is the metro cities.
How will you invite a non-app person to play this game on app?
Amogh Dusad: I agree that a lot of people don’t like apps. But I think what’s happening with apps like WhatsApp, Facebook, is that they have really democratised the usage of smartphones. With Salman Khan’s huge fan following, I think a lot of the audience will start following this app.
How do you plan to reach out to people who don’t have smartphones?
Amogh Dusad: As per the data that we have, there are 36 crore smartphones in our country. Salman has 30 million people following on Facebook. These numbers get upgraded every three months. In a country with 25 crore homes, there are 36 crore smartphones. The other part is that it’s about logging in the information. Anyone in the house can log in through his or her Facebook or Gmail account.
With Salman are you now trying to connect with the small town audience?
Amogh Dusad: Digital technology has done this connection for us already. You know, 70-80 per cent of ‘KBC’ play-along happened outside the metros. Salman Khan’s followers are there all over the country, whether it is a metro or small towns. A lot of stuff that we keep hearing about e-commerce sites and their next round of orders – all of it is coming from Tier 1 and 2 cities. So, there is connectivity with technology. It’s sort of giving a connection with the app for us to reach out to those people and genuinely get a guide to India.
Will the set of questions be the same for all?
Amogh Dusad: While you are making your profile on the app, there will be some initial questions to find out what kind of person you are – married/ unmarried, working woman, student, etc. Once you have given all the information, the question bank opens up and you will get those which you can answer. For example, there is a question on ‘Have you opened any joint account with you wife?’ If you are not married, you won’t be getting this question. Thus, the idea is to use the technology to intelligently serve so that an unmarried man won’t get a question of marriage. But yes, there will be some common questions for all, for instance, there could be a question about your childhood days.
Have these questions been created by Sony’s in-house team?
Amogh Dusad: It’s a joint effort by our team as well as Synergy’s team. They have worked on it for months. I have also played a small role in consumer research to ensure that no questions are offensive and that these are questions that make you reflect a bit, remind you of some people in your life, remind you of your old fond memories. A lot of questions are also about your interaction with technology.
Can I download this app on my laptop?
Amogh Dusad: This app works on only smartphones. SonyLIV is available on devices other than smartphones because it’s an OTT platform.
What are the key learnings from the last time ‘Dus Ka Dum’ was on air?
Amogh Dusad: It was the first time that Salman came on television. The show had a massive opening. This was Salman not being ‘Bodyguard’, but being ‘Prem’. So, the response was fantastic. I also remember people loving his interactions with the common man. Salman Khan is known for his open-heartedness and that’s what opens him up to a common man.
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