With the 13th season of Bigg Boss launching this weekend on Colors it’s the 12th season for Viacom18’s GEC Colors and over years Colors has tried various twists in the format, interesting themes, got in commoners to be a part of the show that only had celebrities and has basically done it all. They have used all the learnings from their previous seasons to make the next one better than before. However, two common factors from all these years of Bigg Boss is the legendary voice of Bigg Boss and the host, actor Salman Khan.
One has observed that Bigg Boss leaves the audiences with various withdrawal symptoms so to speak where viewers don’t know what to do with their time from 10:30 pm onwards on weeknights and 9 pm on weekends. While this season has no commoners and only celebrities, it will be interesting to see what response does the show get from the audience.
Vivo is the title sponsor for the show and has been produced by Endemol India.
On the sidelines of press launch where we saw Salman Khan making a filmy entry from a Bigg Boss branded Mumbai Metro; Medianews4u caught up with Nina Jaipuria, Head, Hindi Mass Entertainment and Kids TV Network Viacom18 to talk about what’s up with BB13 and a lot more.
How big is Bigg Boss this time?
I think it’s going to be the biggest so far. A couple of reasons, why I think it’s going to be the biggest so far.
No Commoners, only Celebrities
One is that it is all celebrity express. I think what we’ve done and every time, you should expect some kind of innovation, some kind of twist in the tail. The innovation this time is about to make this very action-packed and on a superfast speed. Normally, if you follow the show, you will know that when the contestants enter the house, they take their time at least four weeks to start their action. This time around the minute they enter the house, the action stars, and in fact to give away a little bit of the secret you must expect a dhamaka in the first four weeks itself.
It’s a big strategic shift in the format. In the first four weeks itself, you will see a mini-finale already. I don’t want to give away more, because you have to watch it on TV, but a big shift from that perspective. And of course, they’re all celebs. So they all come with their own thoughts and values, and egos and all of that.
Bigg Boss House in Mumbai
Also from the fact that it is now conveniently located in Mumbai, which means that we can infuse a lot more into the show if we wanted to, and there is no unnecessary bit of travel. More importantly, the show this time is meant to be very young, youthful, vibrant, and pacy and therefore, has a lot of tedha medha twists, turns and tasks. If you see the house itself is beautifully made from that perspective. The entry of the house is in the shape of BB, the swimming pool is in the shape of an eye, there are some pop-up elements in the house, the color palette is beautiful, it’s black, white, violent, pink, and purple which is very different. So to me, this season is going to be a slightly hatkey Bigg Boss, and therefore Big from a perspective to what to expect, in terms of the viewer engagement.
On Voot and My Jio
I think it is also very big from where we are taking it in terms of digital, and how we are making sure that digital complements what happens on TV. So last year, for example, Voot had 700 million views of Bigg Boss with all the content around content and everything else, it was very big. So this time, we thought it’s not just on Voot, but it’s also on Jio. So Bigg Boss on digital will be on our microsite, Jio and on Voot.
Bigg Boost on Voot
We have specifically designed various initiatives on the digital front. So organically, there we will be a lot of gossip conversations and buzz that will automatically take the show to a very different level of viral marketing, if I were to call it that. For example, we have Video Vichaar on Voot, where viewers can actually answer a question after every episode, and we will showcase that back on-air. There’s something called the Chugli Booth, it is where users can actually send a Chugli video to their favorite contest, telling them about what’s happening behind their back. We also have something called the Bigg Boss Buzz and that’s a show that will be hosted by influencers and two celebrity hosts who will talk about the happenings of the show on digital separately.
Bigg Boost on Instagram, Facebook & My Jio
Viewers can vote on Voot and My Jio, the activations and digital integrations are different for both platforms. For the first time for Bigg Boss we are creating AR filters on Instagram; the first filter is supposed to go out on the day of the launch. We’re also doing a very tedha Facebook Messenger bot which will give very funny unexpected answers and GIFs.
On the Jio front. Like we have a supermarket in the show, we’re doing a luxury bazaar on the app. We’re also getting to do something called the Bigg Boss League, which is a predict to win model. So you can give your predictions of who’s going to win the task, who’s going to win the show, and then basis that the winners will actually get to go on the sets and meet Salman Khan. There is something called the sentimeter which measures the sentiment of the contestants on the show and there’s a pulse meter, so there’s a lot of engagement happening on digital. So to me, it will create a lot of buzz and organically create a lot of conversations around the show.
What is the percentage of growth does one season of Bigg Boss contribute to the success of the channel?
Oh a lot! It’s hard to quantify, but going by the revenue and the kind of monetization we have on the show it’s a very big contributor to our top line and we’re very happy to see seven sponsors already on board. So we’re halfway, pretty much there, to be very honest, and we have half way to go. But having said that, it is a very large contributor and I’m not sure if I can give you a number for obvious reasons, but it is a very large contributor in terms of ratings as well as in terms of monetization with a positive P&L.
How is the non-fiction reality genre for Colors been doing?
The last season of Khathron ke Khiladi was actually the biggest ever since BARC has happened. It rated beautifully well for us. Then we have Dance Deewane which is doing fantastically well. In fact, we were looking forward to the finale this Saturday. It’s a very unique concept of three generations battling it out. So Dance Deewane has got a great response, Madhuri on the show with the two judges has got great chemistry. To us our non-fiction factory has been rolling out a whole lot of big stuff and big reality shows. So whether it was Khathron ke Khiladi or it’s Dance Deewane and now of course Bigg Boss, and soon after Big Boss, we will have Khathron ke Khiladi again which is being shot in Bulgaria. So our non-fiction factory is always spinning.
While negotiating and talking to sponsors and brands, did you feel that there was some sort of impact of the economic slowdown on their spends?
You know Bigg Boss is a platform that I think brands have figured that gives them great value, it’s bang for the buck, and in the slowdown actually, you would want to have a property that will give you bang for the buck, not necessarily in terms of vanilla spots. Bigg Boss has the potential to do to your brand, in terms of integration, solutions, and customizations and a clutter-breaking way of building a brand over 100 days. Therefore, I think brands see this potential of Bigg boss.
For Vivo, we have a Vivo zone in the house from where one can expect a lot of action. Now, that is big value for Vivo considering that it is a handset and you saw Salman already took his first selfie with the Vivo phone at the press launch. Having said that, the brands also know that a lot of value can be gained. I think while there was a slowdown, and we’re not denying that, I think it was much easier for us to actually monetize Bigg Boss and get sponsors and partners on board. Because there is a proof of the pudding in terms of the past seasons of how we’ve integrated with the brands. Therefore all the seven sponsors have come even before the show started and we can expect more to come.
Any particular changes that you have brought about in this season based on audience insight or viewing pattern?
I think our decision of going back to celebrities was because of one of the insights because what celebrities bring to the show is different from what commoners bring to the show, each celebrity has portrayed a certain character and has told a certain story in the past. They have a certain perception in the viewers’ mind. This time the contestants are hotter than what you witnessed here today. I’m sure the heat will be up because of the celebrity quotient to my mind. To me that is going to be the big change for the season from a perspective of what viewers can expect, because see the whole insight about viewers is also speculation in terms of who’s going into the house, and who’s going to be in and who’s going to be out and who are the kind of different personalities that we can expect. We’ve also started building a lot of intrigue by doing some reveals of contestants without actually showcasing who those contestants are. But I can tell you, they’re going to be young, hot and vibrant.
How are you marketing Bigg Boss? Is there any specific targeting that is done for HSMs?
We normally only target HSMs, because Colors is an HSM channel, but we typically go a little heavier on the metros and of course qualitatively go to music channels, movie channels where we believe a lot of our viewers are going to be already watching and sampling. Not to forget our own network also, which gives us tremendous mileage. Bigg Boss is one show that also works very well on billboards because you have Salman on it. When you put Salman Khan on a billboard, you’re bound to be noticed. There will be a lot of press on the day of the launch, because that’s our big ticket launch. The first premiere of the show is always very big because that is we come to know who are the contestants that are going to go into the house.
Do you get more viewership on the launch or the finale?
Both actually.In fact last year I think both were at around 3 TVR and 2.6 TVR respectively.