Launching Bigg Boss 14 is a sign that the world is returning to normalcy: Sapangeet Rajwant
There is palpable excitement for ‘Bigg Boss 14’ after more than half a year that has largely been under the shadow of COVID-19. The show returns with its long-time anchor Salman Khan in a new iteration, where promos show him breaking chains, mopping floors and eating popcorn in a cinema hall, a tacit reminder of everything that the audiences have missed in 2020. There’s also a declaration of ‘Ab paltega scene, kyunki Bigg Boss dega 2020 ko jawaab’. This year, the show is even more digitally integrated compared to the previous years, with the new offering of 24-hour live feeds on VOOT Select.
In conversation with Adgully, Sapangeet Rajwant, Head of Marketing, COLORS, Viacom18, speaks about this year’s campaign, audiences craving a sense of normalcy and how their marketing strategy leveraging this to draw eyeballs. Edited excerpts:
What is the insight behind the campaign and tagline?
2020 has been a difficult year for us. We have all gone through tough times as we were locked in our homes and missed out on the normal luxuries of life. Audiences have been deprived of entertainment this year because of the pandemic and the lockdown. Avenues of entertainment like cinema halls have been shut and there was a dearth of content on television as well. What our viewers now yearn for is a return to normalcy. ‘Bigg Boss’ is a show that the audiences have loved watching with their families year after year. And this time, it is one of the biggest signals that we are crawling back to normalcy. ‘Bigg Boss’ has an uncanny ability to change the mood of the audience with emotions, tears, drama and laughter. The idea behind the campaign this year was to give a fitting reply to 2020 and turn the scene around. Hence, our tagline – ‘Ab scene paltega, kyunki Bigg Boss dega 2020 ko jawaab’. Elements in the show, like a movie theatre, a shopping mall, a spa and a salon are all those elements that we enjoyed when things were normal. These will reinforce the message for our viewers and give them a sense of normalcy.
What’s your marketing strategy for the show?
Every year we have seen that even before ‘Bigg Boss’ is launched, there is a tremendous buzz about the show. That’s because ‘Bigg Boss’ has a massive fan following. A while back we released a Tweet from our ‘Bigg Boss’ handle saying, ‘Hey @TwitterIndia, we’re eyeing that like button’ and the conversations jumped manifold.
It is one of the most awaited shows in the general entertainment space. Last year, we reached 213 million viewers and we yet again look forward to piquing the viewers’ interest by generating interesting conversations around the show and engaging with them. Given the current situation, while there are restrictions about having on ground activities, we will make use of the fact that there is a huge increase in television viewership.
We obviously leverage our network, which is our biggest strength. The affinity and conversion on our network channels are very high for us. Apart from that, we do go outside our network and use other channels like news, music, movie genres, and regional channels. There is no denying that the engagement and consumption on digital platforms has increased. A lot of engagement for ‘Bigg Boss’ happens on social media, whether it is Facebook, Instagram or Twitter, so we will be present on a lot of digital platforms – be it social media, OTT or other platforms. We will judiciously pick out media which give us the best bet for our buck.
Are you anticipating a significant growth in viewership for the show this year?
Like I mentioned before, last year was the biggest season of ‘Bigg Boss’, where around 213 million viewers across the country watched the show. To add to that, there has been a dearth of entertaining content this year. Big-ticket properties were missing in the first two quarters. People who are staying indoors and lack a continuous source of entertainment in their lives will surely flock to watch the show. I believe ‘Bigg Boss’ will garner far more eyeballs than last year. The show has become a family viewing phenomenon and we expect that to continue as the people are sitting inside their homes.