Joined: 27 October 2004
A fairy tale comes true
|Sony Entertainment's Jassi Jaissi Koi Nahin is serving more benefits than just viewership|
|Gouri Shukla & Prasad Sangameshwaran / Mumbai June 22, 2004|
Thats a slice of real life. But less than a year ago, similar scenes in local trains and buses in Mumbai and Delhi were make-believe. Then, commuters were paid by SET to talk in packed trains about the yet-to-be-launched serial and wonder aloud about its main character.
There may be no one like Jassi, but clearly, the buzz around the serial is also unique. SET pulled out the stops in creating the pre-launch hype for Jassi last year.
Flash mobs were gathered at high-footfall locations such as shopping malls, local trains and multiplexes, which would enact a war-cry for Jassi, startling onlookers.
On the launch day, SET hired people at the domestic airport arrival lounges to hold placards of Jassi. The company claims that the airport gimmick won curious glances from media buyers and brand managers who would be entering cities like Mumbai or Delhi on a Monday morning.
The hype and hoopla surrounding Jassi is reminiscent of the promotion of another television biggie, Star TVs Kaun Banega Crorepati (KBC). But then, for SET, Jassi was as crucial as KBC was to Star. Viewers were shifting loyalties to other channels: from a peak of close to eight in the 9 to 10 pm prime time slot, television ratings points (TRPs) for SETs soaps Kkusum and Kutumb had plunged to 1.3 to 1.5.
Around the same time,the TRPs of Star Plus jumped from around nine to 13 on the back of serials like Des Mein Nikla Hoga Chand and Sanjeevni, which had replaced KBC in the prime time slot.
By early 2003, SET had replaced Kutumb with Kahani Teri Meri; but even that ran out of steam within four months, although the average running time of Hindi TV serials is about one year. Our approach is to not discard shows quickly. If a show does not do well in a quarter, we change it in a major way or give it up, says Sunil Lulla, executive vice president, SET.
Thats where Jassi has helped. According to the TVRs (television viewership ratings, which are TRP weighted by the actual viewing time of the respondents) presented by TAM India, the agency tracking audience response for television programmes, ratings for SET in the 9:30 to 10 pm slot increased from 1.17 to 4.47 after Jassi. (At present, the TVRs are hovering around 4.7.)
Jassi is the result of some extensive market research by SET. In end 2002-early 2003, SET spoke with women in the 18 to 34 age group the second-largest age group that watches television after the 4 to 14 years bracket.
Another reason to tap into this age group is that this segment reacts positively to new programming, unlike those above 45, who are less prone to change habits and rally strongly behind traditional serials like Stars Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi. The research pointed to four attitudes of women:
SET looked through this lens at some four or five international soaps that it had been planning to adapt to Indian viewership tastes. A Latin American soap, Yo soy, Betty la fea (Here comes Betty, the ugly one), seemed to fit the bill.
Produced by the Columbian RCN Network, Yo soy..., had been on air in Columbia, Ecuador, Panama and Venezuela, five days a week for more than a year and a half. The attributes thrown up by SETs research a woman who is a dreamer, solution-finder, hard working, intelligent, yet innocent and naive found a mirror in Betty. The character had the potential to cut across cultures, says a company official.
Of course, SET could not blindly adapt the serial for an Indian audience. For one, it was not possible to literally adapt the title in Hindi: few viewers would want to watch a serial where the central character is decalred unattractive.
So, SET decided to create an aura around a plain Jane character who is special. The marketing task at hand was to get audiences to sample an unusual product and eliminate the risk of rejection, says Albert Almeida, senior vice-president, marketing, SET.
Hence the intrigue factor in all pre-launch marketing activities. All the pre-launch promos showed the main characters commenting on Jassi, but Jassi herself was never shown. We wanted to build intrigue in a manner in which people would fall in love with her, says Lulla. And since the viewers never got to see her, it reduced the possibility of pre-conceived opinions.
Significantly, SET carried on an unusually-long image building exercise for Jassi, which began long before the serial went on air. While Jassi appeared on TV in September 2003, brand building actually began in July thats twice the time usually spent on pre-publicity for a new TV serial.
Also, the premiere was scheduled for one-hour slot during prime time on a Sunday. That helped in many ways. One, it helped in unveiling the main character. Then, the hour-long premiere show was like a tasting session it helped the audience get the gist of the unconventional storyline. More importantly, as mentioned earlier, the TVRs shot up.
But SET did not rest on the initial response. Stepping up the momentum, the channel has linked on-air content to off-air marketing opportunities, all capitalising on the fact that Jassis workplace is a fashion house.
First was a cameo appearance at the Miss India pageant, then anchoring a part of the Lakme India Fashion for the channel telecast and so on. While SET has been associated with these events previously, this is the first time it has leveraged a character and programme to this extent.
Jassi has also visited the Association of Secretaries (she plays a secretary in the serial) and Apna Bazaar outlets where she met customers and distributed instant redemption prizes. What adds to the off-screen credibility is that in all such public appearances, the actor playing Jassi is in character. As part of an agreement (neither the channel nor the actor disclose details), she has to be in character for all public appearances.
The result of all this careful planning is that SET is back on media planners radar. Most media watchers think the channel is on a winning wicket with Jassi. Remarks Navin Kathuria, media group head, R K Swamy BBDO, Jassi has become the face of the channel and SET is leveraging the characters popularity to the hilt. The show now has a steady average of nine sponsors, a jump from just one in the first week.
Even the most successful shows cant hike their airtime prices after a certain extent. So the indicator of the shows success is the number of product placements in the serial, says a media watcher.
That would mean Jassi is extremely successful: the show has effortlessly interwoven more product placements than any other programme on SET. The list includes Asmi diamond jewellery, Maruti Zen, Samsung phones and Singapore Tourism, among others.
Media industry analysts say that SETs revenues are likely to have increased by 10 to 15 per cent after Jassi was launched last year. Also, the airtime rate for Jassi (Rs 3 lakh for 10 seconds) is the highest charged by SET.
But SET executives refuse to give Jassi all the credit for its improving bottomline. Jassi has definitely been rocket fuel for the channel, but we have been firing from several cylinders, remarks Lulla.
Rivals meanwhile point out that Jassi has not been able to make significant gains in TRPs, which still hovers around four. Compare this with KBC, whose TRPs shot up from six to 15 within a couple of months of its launch. Even Kyunki..., which began four years ago with ratings of six to seven, shot up to and has sustained TRPs of close to 12.
Also, Jassi has been on air for just 10 months. Yo soy ran for over one and a half years in an hourly format, five times a week. Will Jassis oversized spectacles and braces manage to hook viewers for longer?
Joined: 30 January 2005
Joined: 08 December 2004
ss’ role in JJKN...future JJKN....read!!!
Author: insouciance Replies: 29 Views: 5631
|insouciance||29||5631||23 March 2006 at 4:27pm by momogrl21|
raj might be back on jjkn.jjkn not ending
Author: insouciance Replies: 14 Views: 2871
|insouciance||14||2871||22 February 2006 at 1:23pm by Tomiko|
JJKN directors speak ..on future of JJKN
Author: cdesai12 Replies: 4 Views: 2037
|cdesai12||4||2037||28 September 2005 at 12:07pm by vasamv|
BAD NEWS + BAD NEWS + BAD NEWS!!!
Author: Anoli Replies: 7 Views: 1238
|Anoli||7||1238||04 August 2005 at 4:08am by cutelovelygirl|
LEAVING IF,sorry friends, jd sorry.
Author: ms-tabu Replies: 41 Views: 2381
|ms-tabu||41||2381||28 July 2005 at 12:03am by bluelotus|
And he will be seen playing a psychiatrist..
The lady is giving out strong Bohemian vibes!
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