New Delhi: The opening episode of filmmaker Karan Johar’s popular talk show Koffee With Karan this past Sunday was big on girl power with female superstars Deepika Padukone and Alia Bhatt launching the sixth season. Media industry experts say Star World, which is part of Star India, the broadcaster of the show, could be looking to make anything between 35-40 crore from sponsorships, which include a spate of high-profile brands . While multimedia speaker Google Home is the presenting sponsor for the show, automobile manufacturer Audi and telecom operator Idea are “driven by" and “powered by" sponsors. ‘Driven by’ and ‘powered by’ are specific categories of brand associations for TV shows, next in hierarchy after title sponsorship. Bathing solutions provider Jaquar, cellphone brand OPPO F9 Pro and personal care company L’Oreal Paris are the lifestyle, special and beauty partners for the show respectively.

Brand experts who declined to be named said that while the presenting sponsor may have come on board for anything between 10-15 crore, other associations could range from 8-10 crore and 4-5 crore each, depending on deliverables. Star India declined to comment on the value of the deals. “As the longest running chat show on Indian television, Koffee With Karan sets new benchmarks with every new season creating unprecedented buzz and aggregating premium consumers across the television and digital platforms," a Star spokesperson said. “As such, brands are more than excited to leverage the show and create unique integrations that would excite their target audiences."

Brand integrations, the person said, could play out, for example, in the form of Johar turning to use Google Home features during the show or reading questions for the rapid fire round from an OPPO phone or the celebrity who gives the answer of the season during the rapid fire round walking away with an Audi car.

“At OPPO, we are always looking for platforms that help us connect and engage with the youth. Our association with Koffee with Karan is another step in that direction. Both of us share a passion for offering unique experiences to our audience, especially the youth and this season, we will together brew some amazing content for our viewers," said Will Yang, brand director, OPPO India.

Anita Nayyar, chief executive officer at Havas Media Group (India and South Asia), said that while the English-language format of the show would ordinarily warrant niche viewership, the presence of celebrities, Johar’s own aura and ability to extract bold revelations make for broader appeal. “I wouldn’t say it’s a mass-based show but its appeal definitely goes beyond metros to tier-I towns and ensures the presence of high-profile brands," Nayyar said.

To be sure, Star is looking at creating a truly immersive viewing experience for Koffee viewers this season. Every week, fans of the show stand a chance to win autographed mugs of their favourite celebrities by participating in the Twitter contest held by Star World. Audiences will further be able to pose with different celebrities and win the signatory Koffee Mug using augmented reality tools on Facebook.

There is also an opportunity to be on the Koffee couch and field rapid fire questions from Johar through a Facebook camera innovation which will be captured on social media. Star looks at pegging its marketing campaign on the fact that the show taps into one’s innermost guilty and voyeuristic instincts by making celebrity lives and revelations water cooler conversation. The campaign has been themed #YourGuiltyPleasure where the launch promo titled Unafraid Boy has Johar saying, “I’ll admit to asking all the wrong questions if you admit to loving the answers."

“Over the years, as the show has grown in popularity with millions waiting for new episodes, it has also seen its share of critics," the Star spokesperson said about the show whose previous season was viewed by 40 million people across Star World and the network’s video streaming service Hotstar. Upcoming episodes will see celebrity combinations like Ranveer Singh and Akshay Kumar, Arjun and Jahnvi Kapoor, Saif Ali Khan and daughter Sara.

“This year, Karan will bring unique celebrity pairings and unravel different facets of these superstars that promise to be fresh and endearing. The crowd favourite rapid fire will be even fierier with tougher questions. And, finally, fans will see a brand-new gaming section that’ll bring out the crazy competitive side of even the most zen-like celebrities."

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