Indian Television Shows With Cool Social Media Campaigns

A look at four Indian television shows that leveraged the power of social media to create a buzz in the online world even prior to the show's launch, using Facebook, Twitter and other social media channels

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There was a time when we had our favourite shows on television, when the idiot box aired only a few shows, broadcasters were few and channels were unknown of. But, with the growth of the television industry, there has been a spurt in channels, programs, TV sets and viewers in the country. From the times of ‘Everybody watched The Mahabharat on a Sunday’ to television channels and production houses vying for viewership when Indian viewers have more choices and more sources of consumption, TV show promotions have come a long way ahead.

With social media networks having sizeable numbers and Twitter being their chosen medium to gossip about a show, marketers soon discovered the new medium better suited to promote its TV shows, as opposed to one-way mediums like print and OOH.

If 2011 was about just stepping into the water, 2012 saw social media marketers create full-fledged campaigns for the launch of TV shows, with exclusive show footage and more for the fans. This year we are seeing a lot of TV shows displaying hashtags during the telecast, and sometimes also displaying live tweets made by viewers. Encouraging viewers to talk with this subtle call-to-action, helps create buzz across mediums and keeps your viewers engaged as well.

Lately, a few television shows have taken the social media route to create buzz prior to the airing and also to keep the buzz alive during and after the show. Here we see four TV shows that sought to leverage the social media.

Zee TV’s Connected Hum Tum connects through social

Connected Hum Tum is a reality show featuring six women from different walks of life who share their lives with viewers while conversing with a camera the whole time. For a reality show that hopes to bring out the real picture behind being a woman, social media was plugged in from the very beginning.

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Prior to the show, Zee TV launched a series of teaser updates on its Facebook and Twitter pages where fans were asked to guess the upcoming show and its host. This was followed by sharing exclusive content like the logo and promotional videos. Conversations soared when visuals of the popular host and actor, Abhay Deol asking fans why it was so difficult to understand women, were shared on Facebook. The six women participants were revealed only through pictures. The title song was released simultaneously through Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

On Twitter, the channel conducted a live chat with Abhay where questions were submitted through Facebook. A hashtag #HumTum was also created to capture all conversations of the show on Twitter. A Twitter contest was run with #HumTumWithAbhayDeol where the prize was a date with Abhay. Additionally, an exclusive preview of the show was then arranged for bloggers where they also had the privilege to meet  and interact with the six participants in person.

With the show currently on air, it is also interacting on the social media channels to help build parallel conversations around the women’s lives.

Star Plus throws Facebook challenge for IDS

One of India’s most popular dance reality show, ‘India’s Dancing Superstar’ by Star Plus sought to recreate the fun for its online community, with some smart campaigns on Facebook and Twitter that enabled fans to dance along and cheer for their favourite dancing superstars.

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Star Plus built a Facebook app on its page where fans could match the steps of a dancing superstar with the help of the arrow keys on the keyboard. As in the show format, fans too could participate as solo, couple or group entries on the Facebook app named as ‘India’s Dancing Superstar online challenge’. It also featured images and videos from the show where one could watch some behind-the-scenes bloopers and know more about the judges.

During the telecast, people were encouraged to tweet with #TweetDance. A microsite was created where one could login with Twitter and tweet for their favourite dance move. If that dance move received most number of tweets, all the voters could find their profile picture on a rollover over that dancer.

Basically, the social media strategies functioned as extensions of the television show.

Sony PIX takes the social route to unveil Transporter

When the channel that brings the biggest Hollywood blockbusters to your television screens planned to premiere the action-adventure television series ‘Transporter: The Series’, it created an intriguing social media buzz prior to the show’s announcement. The series brought by Sony PIX was unveiled on social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter, along with contests to keep the fans excited.

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The channel  began  a ‘Sorry Girls’ campaign on its Facebook page with a series of picture updates as apologies to girls since their guys would begin ignoring them from the day Transporter is telecast. Content dealt around apologetic conversations with the girls now having to find new ways to catch their guy’s attention. From flirtatious hairstyles to sensual moves and getting into shape, the channel teased girls to test everything to keep their guys close.

The YouTube channel also featured short videos that could help the channel’s female fans from being ignored by their beaus. Twitter contests using branded hashtags like #PIXporter  helped build the buzz on Twitter.

The USP of this campaign was the intrigue created by ‘Sorry girls’ that caught the fans’ attention.

NDTV Goodtimes finds musical fans for ‘The Kitchen Musical’

India’s first lifestyle channel, NDTV Goodtimes sought to recreate the magic of The Kitchen Musical on social media, prior to bringing it to Indian televisions. The channel launched cool initiatives to engage its social media community and also create buzz for the show.

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NDTV Goodtimes developed a Facebook app on its page – ‘Get musical, get creative’ which was designed in keeping with the unique theme of the show that revolves around drama, food and music. Here, fans could create their own music tracks using the provided tools along with a grand incentive as bait – Two musically inclined people with the maximum votes stood a chance to visit Thailand with a holiday package from the Tourism Authority of Thailand!

In addition, the channel also ran quiz contests on Twitter using the hashtag #TheKitchenMusical, where clues were hidden within the TV show.

Overall, NDTV Goodtimes employed themed social media promotions for The Kitchen Musical with relevant prizes for the kind of viewers it had.

The bigger the show, the bigger the promotions on social media, however, the challenge is to keep the fans engaged and viewers excited about the upcoming happenings on the show. Along with tangible incentives, show updates, characters’ facts, behind-the-scene bloopers and interesting tidbits about the show, channels are sharing and doing a lot more to keep their fans coming back for more.