Jaldi 5 with Rajesh iyer, Marketing Head, Colors: Bigg Boss has become a cult show on Indian television

17 Sep,2013

As a programming property, Bigg Boss has become huge for Hindi GEC Colors. Not just in terms of the efforts to put it together and bring in celeb guests, but the push on marketing and promotions. Season 7 of the show which is being aired for the sixth consecutive year on the channel took off on Sunday, September 15 with much fanfare. MxMIndia posed a few questions to Rajesh Iyer, Head of Marketing at the channel on the format of this year’s edition and Bigg Boss’s role as a buzz creator for his channel


01: This year sees some interesting twists to the Bigg Boss format. In fact, the division of contestants makes it for ‘alag chhe’ as against ‘Saath 7’?

Last year’s theme was ‘Alag Che’ because there were a lot of new elements introduced whether it was the talking parakeet or the Talking fish. This year’s theme is truly Saath 7. It acknowledges the co-existence of Good and Evil inside of each one of us  – that none of us are  entirely good or evil, but it is the circumstances that bring out the best or the worst in us.


The division of the Bigg Boss House into 2 parts aims to drive this concept further by making it a part of the product


1a: The 9PM slot would of course mean that the family values would be maintained in what we see on the tube?

We brought Bigg Boss back to the 9PM slot last year to family audiences and were successful in making the show an integral part of dinner-table conversations. This season, even with the Heaven and Hell format, we are catering to family audiences – something that becomes evident with us including a husband-wife duo within the list of contestants who have entered the house.


02. Do you see it generating a greater buzz and consequently ratings for you?

Bigg Boss is a huge property for us when it comes to generating buzz. In fact, the launch episode which aired on Sunday, 15th September saw Bigg Boss trending on Twitter at the #1 spot. With regard to ratings, the show’s fan following has been growing by leaps and bounds season-upon-season. We are certain that the incredible mix of contestants that have been roped in for Bigg Boss Season Saath 7 will be received really well by audiences.


2a: Any target for TVTs?

A: Bigg Boss has become a cult show on Indian television. Ratings are just one by-product of the show. The buzz that the show generates amongst audiences is too huge to measure. Also let’s not forget the unending discussions on radio stations and news channels – regional and national – once the show gets into its element.


2b: Any specific reasons why the Salman Khan episodes have been moved to Saturdays and Sundays instead of Fridays and Saturdays?

A: With the success of Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa and Comedy Nights With Kapil, we have realized that there exists a huge audience group that tunes in to watch their favourite shows and artists on television on Saturdays and Sundays, owing to which we have introduced ‘Wow Weekends with Salman Khan’.


03: The competition from rival channels in buzz-creating shows is a lot more this year. There’s Mahabharat on Star Plus, Sanjeev Kapoor on Sony… Too much to watch on the Hindi GECs?

Yes. There are a lot of options for audiences and that is always a good thing. But Good content always prevails. The Bigg Boss franchise has done well for so many years now and we are confident that this year too it will triumph.


3a: Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa has just completed, Bigg Boss has just started and 24 very soon… In fact we, in the media, have received an invite for the launch presser on Thursday (Sept 19). Plus some interesting movies. For COLORS, the season’s more than just busy. Any more action expected?

The last quarter of the year is always a busy quarter for us with the launch of Bigg Boss. This year, we have the added bonus of 24 launching as well and India’s Got Talent will be launching later this year.


Bigg Boss 7 has a fairly high voltage digital presence? Is that the way to go for big budget Hindi shows?

The Bigg Boss content has always found favour with the digitally savvy audiences.. This is primarily because the show caters to a voyeuristic audience giving them something new to discuss every day for the period of 104 days thereby making it viral and keeping them engaged throughout the duration of the show.


05. One is aware of Bigg Boss’s role as a buzz generator for Colors. So do you’ll internally see the spends on it as a marketing cost or a content/programming cost?

This is one of those shows which delivers both on buzz and ratings.


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