Jassi Jaissi Koi Nahin General Discussion


Jassi Jaissi Koi Nahin General Discussion
Jassi Jaissi Koi Nahin General Discussion

’Jassi’ TV has India in its grip

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Joined: 06 February 2005
Posts: 49

Posted: 27 April 2005 at 5:06am | IP Logged
'Jassi' TV has India in its grip

27 April 2005
NEW DELHI - A young, bespectacled female television character from Latin America has become the unlikely center of a runaway cultural phenomenon in India.

One of India's most popular TV soaps, "Jassi Jaisi Koi Nahin" (There Is Nobody Like Jassi) is a TODAY'S FEATURESlocalized version of Spanish telenovela "Betty La Fea" (Betty, the Ugly One) that originally aired on Colombia's RCN network.

Not only has the soap boosted ratings for Sony Entertainment Television's flagship Hindi channel SET in India, but it has spawned a merchandising and marketing bonanza that ranges from a postal cover envelope (a rare honor by the Indian Postal Department) to mobile ringtones, games, a designer clothing line of her Punjabi suits and self-improvement books.

Since early April, when Jassi's fans saw her Cinderella-like transformation into a supermodel, India's beauty industry has been doing a roaring trade with Jassi merchandising -- from weight-reduction clinics to contact lenses.

One of the associated brands, VLCC, a national chain of weight-reduction clinics, even introduced a hair and skin treatment package called Aap Jaisi Koi Nahin (There Is Nobody Like You), an obvious reference to the show's title.

More than just an Indian success story, "Jassi," now in its second season, has shown that emotions transcend cultural boundaries when it comes to localizing foreign programming concepts, SET India CEO Kunal Dasgupta said.

"The show's concept was first suggested to us by (Sony Pictures Television International president) Michael Grindon back in 1999, who wanted us to adapt the (Colombian) show in India," Dasgupta said. "He kept reminding us that the character would work here." SPTI licensed the format of the soap from Colombia's RCN and is selling the format internationally.

"Jassi's" premise seems a perfect fit for Indian cultural values. The clumsily attired Jassi comes from a simple, middle-class North Indian Punjabi family and lands a job as a secretary in a Mumbai fashion house, reporting to her handsome but stern boss.

Portraying the cherished Indian values… 

Model-turned-actress Mona Singh, who plays Jassi, said she knows why the character connects so well with the Indian psyche.

"I myself come from the same background as Jassi and had no acting experience when I first auditioned for the role," she said. "What drew me to the character was Jassi's down-to-Earth personality and her devotion to her family. These are the kind of values that are cherished in India.

"Thanks to Jassi, people have realized that appearances mean little. Today, everybody says that they want a daughter or an office colleague like Jassi."

The soap has provided a welcome ratings boost to SET, long overshadowed by STAR Plus, archrival STAR India's Hindi flagship channel. Within three months of airing, "Jassi's" ratings elevated the nearly 10-year-old SET to the second position as the most popular satellite channel with a market share of 32.4 percent.

The advertisers followed suit, leading to a dozen regular sponsors and in-show placements that have included the promotion of a hit Bollywood musical, "Hum Tum" (Me and You), which featured leading actor Saif Ali Khan in a cameo appearance.

The show's commercial appeal went into overdrive when Jassi's character was recently transformed from a plain Jane into a ravishing fashion model known as Jessica. Cosmetics brands, among other lifestyle products, elbowed their way to ride the Jassi/Jessica hoopla.

This also saw SET capitalizing on its other success story, "Indian Idol," the local version of the popular global talent show. The first "Indian Idol" winner, Abhijeet Sawant, ended up performing a song on "Jassi."

So will Jassi manage to retain viewer interest in the hundred-odd channel universe of Indian television? Said Tarun Katial, vp of SET India: "Beyond just the appeal of Jassi's transformation, the show has a strong story line that forms its core. Everybody is interested to know what happens next with Jassi."

This includes the blossoming of Jassi's onscreen romance with her Prince Charming boss. But whether that happens or not, millions of viewers know that the shoe fits perfectly when it comes to Jassi.

Photo courtesy: daijiworld.com

-misha IF-Sizzlerz

Joined: 23 November 2004
Posts: 11774

Posted: 27 April 2005 at 6:08am | IP Logged
thanx for the article
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