Sony Entertainment Television (SET) is all set to launch the fourth season of its reality show, Indian Idol. The show will begin airing on television from September 19 onwards, every Friday and Saturday at 9 pm. For the new season, Sony has brought in two new judges as members of the jury, namely singer Kailash Kher and actress Sonali Bendre. Javed Akhtar and Annu Malek will continue to be the other two judges, thus completing the panel of four. The show’s auditions across the country will be anchored by Indian Idol 3’s finalists, Meiyang Chang and Deepali Kishore.
Speaking about Indian Idol 4, Albert Almeida, executive vice president and business head, Sony Entertainment Television, said, “Indian Idol is a true celebration of young talent. Over the past three seasons, the show has not only broken its own viewership and voting response records but more importantly it has captured the imagination of the youth of the country and come to become the ultimate TV brand for Young India.”
The marketing initiatives for Indian Idol 4 include a 360 degree integrated campaign which will be spread across 16 cities and towns across the country. Gullies, college campuses, malls, coffee shops and youth hang out places in general will be made a part of this extensive campaign.
Speaking about what distinguishes the marketing strategy for Indian Idol 4 from its previous seasons, Danish Khan, head, marketing, Sony Entertainment Television, said, “Indian Idol is the first of its kind ‘youth’ show. Hence, in the first phase of marketing, we will clearly be creating an ambience of youth, something the youth of the country would like to belong to. In phase two, we would like the consumer to involve and interact with the brand. That is why, we have launched Indian Idol website which has sections where videos, blogs and features are uploaded, so that takes care of digital as well.”
Indian Idol 4 will also undertake on-ground activities as a part of its marketing initiatives. “Indian Idol 4 will be going down to almost 20 cities, where we will have ‘Gully’ or ‘Campus’ jamming sessions. Here, the Indian Idol contestants and judges will go into the crowd and jam with them,” Khan added.
“In the third phase of marketing, the idea is to create personalities, where we have 13 different personalities who are the contestants of the show. They will be focused on in the multimedia campaign. We also have a first of its kind ‘City Concert’, where the youth congregate over five to six concerts. The finalists will go and perform live before the crowd of fifteen to twenty thousand. I think this is one of the things that is going to be different in Indian Idol 4, the fact that the contestants will have to perform before huge crowds,” Khan further added.
Commenting on the above-the-line and below-the activities for Indian Idol 4, Khan said, “Above the line activities include the first three phases of marketing, which in turn, include radio, print, television and mass media in general. However, below-the-line and digital is where the action is going to be. The Indian Idol website is going to be an entire 360 degree digital experience. We will extend the experience with mobile, too.”