SAB expands touchpoint by venturing into board game biz

05 Nov,2012

By Johnson Napier


Its knack for doing something unusual has always managed to reap huge dividends for the channel. Whether for the new programming ideas that it experiments with on a regular basis or the array of assorted characters that it manages to throw up every now and then, SAB has always gone with the belief that consumers need to be fed with something different to keep them hooked on to the channel.


In its latest twist to offering something new to its consumers, SAB has ventured into an untapped avenue by announcing the launch of a new board game. Named Saburbia, the board game is an advergame which projects the SAB TV brand and its ethos, and at the same time is directed towards providing thrill and entertainment to its users. The game makes the player an active member of a city called Saburbia, thereby giving him a chance to interact with his favourite characters like Jetha, Daya, Taarak Mehta, Gadha Prasad, Baujee, Mukundi, Indumati, Bhavesh, Bakula, Gopi, Gulgule and Chandramukhi Chautala through a series of tasks and unpredictable circumstances. The motive of the game is to find the perfect neighbour who becomes the Mayor of the city.


The motive of the game, according to a statement issued by the channel, is to give SAB TV an alternate touch-point with its audiences, over and above the conventional media like TV, Print, OOH and online. Moreover, it also is to give people a chance to get to know more about the other shows on the channel. The over-arching belief is to get the viewer interested in all the shows of the channel, thus increasing viewership and building the brand.


SAB TV has joined hands with Pegasus International (which is a major Indian toy and board game maker, operating with the brand name ‘Toy Kraft’) for the manufacturing and distribution of the game


Elaborating on the thought-process and objective of the new venture, Anooj Kapoor, EVP and Business Head of SAB TV said: “The new initiative is the brainchild of our Marketing team. The idea was two-fold: one, to continuously engage consumers in fresh touchpoints and secondly, to increase the viewership of 15-24 age group audience on our channel – also the most active TG on Facebook for us.”


Adding further, he said: “Over the past few years we have managed to create a certain salience for SAB in the consumers’ minds and a very strong brand image…this is on the back of SAB having a limited reach and budget but we are able to innovatively reach consumers in places where they are least expected. For eg, today we have 18 publications where we have cartoon strips of our shows appearing every day…so that is one such endeavour where you surprise the consumer by creating a fresh touchpoint and the surprise element manages to create an impact. Similar has been our approach with Saburbia.”


Sharing his thoughts on venturing into an untapped domain, Mr Kapoor added, “Suburbia could be tagged as a gaming initiative from our end; and gaming in two forms – board game and online gaming. The idea was that whether one is a SAB consumer or whether you come to buy a board game one would be intrigued by seeing a game which has television characters even if you have never sampled the channel. And if you see that differentiation amongst other board games you may be attracted to it and therefore go and be a part of the brand experience by playing the game and become a convert or at least sample the product.”


The channel would be engaging in appropriate promotional activity in order to attract consumers to the new board game. Said Mr Kapoor, “We would be engaging in two-fold promotional activity: one is print ads that we keep doing time to time and secondly, we have shot a few ads on our own channel which again inform and educate our consumers to try out the new product.”


According to Mr Kapoor, what SAB is looking to achieve with this venture is increase viewership and also refresh and retain brand salience in the consumers’ minds. “We expect to roll out 5000 board games to begin with. And if we go by the assumption that there are 3-4 people per family then we can expect our consumer base to increase by that much amount. It’s difficult to predict right now what is the percentage base of audience that we expect to attract but it will be substantial to say the least. In fact, based on the response that Saburbia draws from the market and its sale from the shelves we would consider rolling out new games in the future.”


As for SAB the channel, there is a lot of action that is lined up in the coming days. It would begin by the launch of Jini & Juju that takes off from Monday, November 5. “That will be followed by the Season 2 launch of Gutur Gu and Malegaon ka Chintu, two silent comedies on the channel. Those will go on air two weeks from now,” reiterated Mr Kapoor.


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