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07-13-2013, 02:16 AM #1
In Timeout with Imam, we are mixing reality with comedy: Aditya Swamy, EVP and Marketing Head, MTV
With his innovative marketing strategies and the talent to read the mindset of youth inside out, Aditya Swamy, EVP and Marketing Head of MTV, has come a long way from the time he stepped into the entertainment industry way back in 2006.
At the launch of MTV’s new show, Timeout with Imam, the man got talking with us on this comedy-reality show, his unique marketing strategies and a lot more. Excerpts:
Give us a brief on this new show on MTV?
(smiles) Timeout with Imam- Ek Insaan Kai Pehchaan, is a break from the regular shows you have on TV. Young people are constantly looking for out-of-the-ordinary entertainment and there is no one who is more out there than Imam. A total entertainer who caught the fancy of the entire country while in Bigg Boss 6, now has his very own show. He is fun, quirky and knows how to keep the audience connected. Everything about the show is surreal, the situations, the promos and even the marketing. Spending just a day with Imam is full of surprises; 13 weeks is going to be a riot in this show.
You are also making use of technology to the maximum in the show. Comment…
Our audience today is hooked to phones and internet and we had to plan something that could go viral in no time. We always have to make a point to get maximum results at lower costs and hence we turned to these resources. The marketing strategies used with this show are fun and are sure to grab eyeballs. Apart from optimum utilisation of social networking, we are also using physical means like auto drivers donning the Imam mask in the city to having flash mobs. And the Imam-o-gram is a new app that one can use through his social network profiles.
MTV has always been on the wrong side with vulgarity and abusive language used in shows like Splitsvilla and Roadies. As a maker, how do you manage to keep a balance?
There is nothing vulgar in the shows, as today youth sporting such dresses (that Splitsvilla contestants adorn) are seen around us. And the language too is used by youngsters today in their regular life. But as a responsible channel, we make it a point to not just beep the abuses, but also blur the mouth, so that even the word can’t be made out. We never encourage such behaviour or try to glorify such acts, but it is the contestants’ emotion that crosses the line sometimes.
MTV started the trend of reality shows with Roadies, but now there are umpteen such shows on air….
We started Roadies on a noble note of letting youngsters realise their true potential. Adventure is something that people do enjoy watching on TV and when there is someone as normal as them, the connection is bound to be there. People look towards entertainment and we are just trying to cater to their needs with our shows. Even though the competition is very strong indeed, the fact is that the consumption power of people has also increased. Thus I feel that if you are good, you will definitely be successful even in a competitive market.
And how real are the reality shows?
There is a difference in reality shows like Roadies or Splitsvilla and Timeout with Imam. In the first two shows, the contestants hardly know what is going to happen; it’s just the producers who decide the content. But in this show (Timeout with Imam), we are combining reality with comedy. Imam and his entourage knew about the situations well beforehand and the show will present their journey on achieving the different tasks in every episode. It will be a fun episode with the day ending on a comic note.
After Roadies gone, any plans of bringing Raghu back with any other project?
Raghu is a part of MTV and so is MTV a part of him. We will definitely try to work out something with him in future. His research of people is tremendous, as he has lived the journey with youngsters in all the ten series of Roadies. My entire marketing team will not be able to equal the knowledge he has.
MTV, that started off as a music channel, is now diverting its way to shows…
This is a complete false accusation since we have 12 hours of complete music and just about 3-5 hours of shows. But since music is easily available at every go, the shows only get highlighted. But we at MTV are sure of not getting into soaps since that is not the requirement of our audience. Last year, we worked on a finite series like Rush and we will definitely plan something soon again.