New Delhi: The 10th season of Colors’ popular reality show Bigg Boss, scheduled to go on air this October, has signed up Parle Agro’s carbonated apple juice brand Appy Fizz as the show’s main sponsor, ending its two-year association with online retailer Snapdeal.
Parle Agro will pay Colors between Rs.38 crore and Rs.44 crore for the season, a person familiar with the development said, requesting anonymity. That is more than what Snapdeal paid for the sponsorship in the previous season.
The new sponsor for the Salman Khan-anchored Bigg Boss, a reality show based on Big Brother developed by Netherlands-based Endemol, comes as e-commerce companies have slashed spending on advertisement and discounts to narrow losses amid a slowdown in sales and a difficult fund-raising environment.
“There is a slowdown on the e-commerce side, but e-commerce only contributed 6-7% to the advertising expenditure,” said Mallikarjun Das, group chief executive at media buying firm Starcom India.
Two other sponsors, Chinese phone maker OPPO Mobile and Maruti Suzuki Ltd will, however, continue their association with Bigg Boss in the current year. The companies will pay between Rs.20 crore and Rs.25 crore, the person said.
The average increase in sponsorship fees this year has been about 5-7%, another person familiar with the development said, also requesting anonymity.
Healthcare firm Midas Care is the sole associate sponsor for now as the channel is in the final stages of discussion to sign up other brands. A new category with mobile browser UC Web as the so-called trending partner has been introduced this year.
While the associate sponsor deals will cost Rs.13-15 crore, the project cost of the show that will run for three months is estimated at as much as Rs.150 crore, making it one of the most expensive ones on Indian television.
For Parle Agro, the title sponsorship of one of the most-viewed television programmes, will help it expand awareness about the brand, said Nadia Chauhan, joint managing director and chief marketing officer of Parle Agro.
“As part of the marketing strategy for Appy Fizz, brand associations and sponsorships are critical elements towards building brand popularity,” Chauhan said.
Oppo Mobile claims its sponsorship of the past two seasons has helped the company reach out to viewers in smaller cities.
“We have been a part of Bigg Boss previously as well and the results were fruitful thus making season 10 a perfect opportunity to further expand our reach given the show’s popularity,” said Sky Li, president of Oppo India.
According to Vinay Pant, assistant vice president of marketing at Maruti Suzuki India Ltd, the spontaneous character of the television series and its Swift model are complementary.
Each year, said Anita Nayyar, chief executive of Havas Media Group-India and South Asia, there is some category that bows out and something else comes to the rescue.
Mint reported that the overall share of e-commerce firms in television advertising (by volume) declined to 2.49% as of 18 June from 3.18% in the first half of 2015 (January-June).
“There is a resurgence in BFSI (banking, financial services and insurance), there is more action happening on the handset side, in mobiles and telecom. With Jio and so on, I would expect the overall telecom spending to go up in the next six months. Even FMCG is bound to pick up. We’ve had a good monsoon, so there are immediate sectors that respond to that and there are going to be effects of that trickling in, so I don’t see any significant impact (on a show like Bigg Boss),” said Das.
Raj Nayak, chief executive of Colors, said: “It’s been easier for us to sell sponsorships this year than earlier. We sold our presenting sponsor in February, six months in advance.”
The brand excitement around Bigg Boss has remained strong and consistent over the years. “The format is well-known as are the integrations and Salman Khan is a crowd-puller. I think the brand excitement around the show will continue unless something goes dramatically wrong,” said Nayyar.