Kaun Banega Crorepati (KBC), the Indian counterpart of the UK-origin game show, ‘Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?’ has captured the fancy of the nation since 2000. Every season that has followed was viewed with rapt interest. In fact, foreseeing high viewership for the fifth season of the series that unfolded last year, advertisers are reported to have invested Rs 3.5 lakh for every 10-second ad slot. Sony Television expected a 70% increase in the show’s ad revenue that season over the previous year.

It is obvious that high viewership was expected to justify such ad spends. But achieving a viewership size that could substantiate this hype was impossible without roping in viewers in India’s far-flung corners. With a view to penetrate populations in Tier 2 and 3 cities as well as regions that are cut off from mainstream media, Sony Television has joined hands with Vritti i-Media to promote KBC Season 5. This initiative was in line with the newly adopted credo of the show, which declared that ‘Koi insaan chota nahi hota.’

In turn, the initiative looked at exponentially increasing the viewership base of the show by attracting people residing inIndia’s semi-urban and rural regions. Through Vritti i-Media’s award-winning audio advertising network, a promotional effort took shape in the form of the eponymous KBC jingle coupled with a reminder for people to catch the show. The jingle was played at regular intervals at MSRTC’s district-level ST bus-stations inMaharashtra.

This medium enabled KBC to reap clear benefits. Since ST buses are the primary mode of transport for non-metro folk, each bus-stand is frequented by around 40,000 people a day or 2-3 times a week. A commuter is expected to spend about 20-25 minutes at an average in his wait for a bus; at this point, he is eager and receptive to audio announcements. So, playing the KBC advertisements along with the bus arrival and departure announcements on regular basis on Vritti i-Media’s audio network made perfect sense.

As a result of combining Amitabh Bachchan’s booming voice with a memorable jingle and a compulsory listening format, the audio announcement was adjudged the most popular and highest recalled ad in ruralMaharashtra. These were the findings of a survey by Vritti i-Media, which is the only agency authorised by MSRTC to run audio advertisement at more than 80 bus depots across Maharashtra. This medium is estimated to reach an excess of 10.3 crore people a month in the state.