Anil Thakraney: Is Satyamev benefiting advertisers?

14 May,2012

By Anil Thakraney


Okay, so this is the third time in a row I am discussing Satyamev Jayate. What to do? It’s caught the nation’s imagination, and the show is a total path-breaker. We still have to wait to find the overall TVRs SJ delivers, so its commercial success we don’t know of yet. However, this time I want to bring up the issue of the benefit the show brings to all the brands that advertise on SJ. Does it really work to their advantage?


Here’s a thought: Because Satyamev’s content is highly sensational and extremely disturbing, audiences are unlikely to be receptive to the idea of pure commerce in that moment. I haven’t conducted any market survey to suggest this (and perhaps someone should!) but my own observations tell me that audiences get busy debating the content and the points raised in a particular segment during the ad breaks. In addition, I wonder how many people actually like watching ads in the midst of grim discussions on subjects like female infanticide and child sex abuse. I don’t know exactly how much a spot costs on the programme (though I suspect it’s a lot of money), but is that spend really worth it? Something to think about. By the way, this is one of the reasons some news channels pull all advertising during the coverage of a tragedy. People are in no mood to be sold something at that point of time.


Another thing: What’s most galling is that underwear, baniyan and other such floozy products are being advertised on this show. Shouldn’t these brand managers restrict their choice to a floozy tournament like the IPL? Whatever be the popularity of the programme, does the SJ format work for ALL brands? Should just numbers and hype be used to arrive at media scheduling? Or, this could be happening because the media planner has been killed by the industry. And media space and time is being sold like kanda batata. There’s no one around to tell the brand manager if the content of the show would help the brand in any way.


Would be very interesting if there’s a formal study conducted on this subject.


* * *


PS: A fantastic public service campaign from the UK on how to stop domestic violence. With a simple phone call to the police when the horrifying sounds of violence are heard. But what got me interested even more is that the campaign is being run entirely on radio and very effectively too. A nice lesson for all those copywriters struggling with this wonderful medium.


A word of caution: The ads are embedded in the article. And they are VERY disturbing. So listen to them only if you have the capacity to handle such spine chilling stuff.


Link: section=0001000100100021&sectionTitle=Call+to+Make+it+Stop+radio+campaign

Post a Comment 

One response to “Anil Thakraney: Is Satyamev benefiting advertisers?”

  1. Rituhotani says:

    Excellent input but I think campaigns like “Jago Re” can do well if positioned between this content since it’ll invoke a similar feeling of doing something rather than just watching things happen!