We believe in putting out differentiated content: Neeraj Vyas, Sony SAB
Sony SAB, the channel known for its light-hearted shows like ‘Taarak Mehta ka Ooltah Chashmah’, ‘Wagle ki Duniya’, ‘Maddam Sir’, has now forayed into a completely new genre – mythology with ‘Dharm Yoddha Garud’. The show is Sony SAB’s grand attempt at larger-than-life storytelling, which will not only enthral, but introduce us to the untold stories from our mythological archives. ‘Dharm Yoddha Garud’ has a stellar cast that includes Faisal Khan, Parul Chauhan, Toral Rasputra, Hrishikesh Pandey, Amit Bhanushali, Rohit Handa, Ankit Raaj, Vishal Karwal, Vijay, Soni Singh and more in pivotal roles.
Speaking about foraying into a new genre, Neeraj Vyas, Business Head, Sony SAB, said, “This is our first foray into mythology. As a brand, we've never forayed into this. We constantly test ourselves all the time. We believe in putting out differentiated content.”
He further said, “In today’s day and age, with so much content being available across so many screens – in smartphones, laptops, iPads, etc. – whatever you do has to be interesting. Every show that Sony SAB has done in the last two years – be it ‘Bharakwadi’, ‘Wagle ki Duniya’, ‘Kaatelal & Sons’, ‘Maddam Sir’ and others – each one of these shows is differentiated. Even the current set of shows on the channel right now is different, there’s no commonality.”
“When we decided to do mythology a couple of years back, we decided to move away from this so-called comedy perception which people have, which is largely due to ‘Taarak Mehta’,” Vyas said, adding “When we decided to get into the zone, we were looking for a story which would be very different. I was very clear that no more Krishna, Ganapati or famous gods. Garud is a story that has never been told – neither in films nor on digital, and definitely not on TV. According to me, it’s like ‘Bahubali’, it’s a story that people did not know. One big reason why ‘Bahubali’ worked is because it has very simple emotions, but the mounting was beautiful. We want to take the same inspiration – a story that has not being told, which is very compelling and make sure that you have the technology to see it.”
Sharing about how the show was born, Vyas elaborated, “As luck would have it, Abhimanyu (Abhimanyu Singh, Producer, ‘Dharm Yoddha Garud’) once called and said that he had made something and wanted me to see that. He sent it to me, we chatted about it, but I said that this will need a very different kind of mounting to make it interesting and believable. So we met, discussed unreal engines, virtual reality, technology and everything and we realised that we can actually put it together, hence Garud was born. It took us more than a year to put it together.”
Giving his view on the change in brand positioning of the channel after the launch of Garud, Vyas said, “We are the only brand that can claim to be something that has something for the entire family. So, it will not change the brand positioning, it will support.”
Commenting on the traction on Sony SAB and consumer behaviour, he said, “The traction of Sony SAB post-pandemic has been fabulous. During the pandemic, when it comes to consumption, it was very big. Good content will always have a market, be it TV, OTT, or Cinema. People are going back to the cinema. But now people are going to be selective in whatever they watch. You cannot just give them anything and hope that it does work. In the next five years, content is going to be there all over.”