New Delhi: His previous outing, The Kapil Sharma Show, may have ended midway giving way to widespread speculation and negative publicity, but Kapil Sharma’s new television show still has a lot going for it. Titled Family Time With Kapil Sharma, the game show that went on air last Sunday combines usual suspects like comedy and movie promotions with families battling for a bunch of attractive prizes.

As of opening day, broadcaster Sony Entertainment Television had a clutch of brands—about 14—on board for the show.

While oral hygiene brand Colgate is the presenting sponsor, biscuit brand Priyagold Superstar, American fast food company McDonalds and multinational telecommunication company Vodafone Inc. are co-powered by sponsors. Home appliance brand Llyod is the cooling partner. Associate sponsors include automobile brand Datsun, jewellery brand PC Jeweller, home appliance company Haier, dietary supplement brand Horlicks, clothing company Macho, personal care brand Fiama, deodorant brand Wild Stone and smartphone company Itel.

Industry experts peg the presenting sponsor deal at Rs16 crore, co-powered by collaborations for Rs8 crore each and associate sponsors to have come for Rs5 crore each.

“Kapil and his show bring families together in a way that few properties in the Indian GEC (general entertainment channel) market can. So from that point of view, the interest from brands is understandable," said Danish Khan, executive vice-president and business head of Sony Entertainment Television, while declining comment on brand deal sizes. “The 14 brands that we’ve got on board are all looking at middle to affluent Indian families."

The negative publicity is very specific to Sharma and has nothing to do with the content of the show, which in itself is generating much interest from a rating, buzz and advertiser point of view, said Navin Khemka, managing partner, Wavemaker India, a GroupM-owned media agency. “He (Sharma) has extremely wide appeal and cuts across all sections of society. People like to see someone from a small town who’s done so well, it’s about the small-town success story that’s taking over our country," Khemka said.

A look at the list, Khemka added, shows that all these brands are extremely mass, it’s not like they are targeting a niche audience but want to penetrate deep into the country, and in this case, the programme has universal appeal, it’s not just targeting housewives or males or kids but the entire family. It could be slapstick at times but it’s very clean fun.

“The past cannot be a proposition for the future. The format of the show focuses on home and happiness and it’s a positive opportunity for us to experiment and explore the entertainment space," said Amit Tiwari, vice-president, marketing and communications at Havells, which owns and markets the Lloyd brand in India.

For the past year-and-a-half, Khan added, Sony had been spending time with brands, media and creative agencies to come up with customized solutions, both on television and digital. As an example, integration with partner Vodafone translates into getting a code on the television screen during Sharma’s show and if a user logs on to the SonyLIV app and scans it, he can have Sharma come alive on the smartphone.

“If you click a family selfie with the thing and share it on social media, you can become one of the many people to participate in the show. Even for Vodafone, this is the first use of augmented reality on television. And the result has been fabulous, about 2.5 lakh people sent us their selfies after the first episode," Khan explained. “We even did a play-along thing with Jio for KBC. So we are using technology to bring the power of television and digital together to provide a brand solution."

However, some experts also point out challenges for Sharma’s show.

“The format somewhere bears strong similarity to some of the family game shows that came up in the late ’90s and early 2000s," said Saurabh Uboweja, international brand expert chief executive officer of brand consultancy firm Brands Of Desire. “Sony’s primary source of revenue right now is sponsorships but that cannot sustain the show, they will have to look at ad spots and movie promotions, which will depend on content."