Travel and lifestyle channel Fox Traveller, in partnership with events management company Seventy Event Media Group (70 EMG), last month launched the second edition of the India Bike Week (IBW) in Goa, with more than 10,000 visitors queuing up for tickets that were priced at R3000 each. Besides music, stunts and displays, the event also saw one of the largest gatherings of biking accessory brands, with product launches —the brand-new made-in-and-for-India Harley-Davidson Street 750 — and racing teams, even as the Motorcycle Traveller Meet, FMX Stunts, the Full Contact Championship, Ride Parades and the Bike Accessory expo saw bike enthusiasts lining up for the adrenaline pumping experience. Over 30 brands including London Affro Collective were associated with the event with Harley Davidson India the main sponsor.
Television branding experiences on-ground is not a new phenomenon at all. In 2011, Star Movies, the English movie channel under the Star India banner, launched the Star Movies Chillout Nites initiative to engage with consumers beyond television. As part of the initiative, Star Movies organised parties at over 200 homes while a movie premiered on the channel. The parties were executed by Fountainhead Events. 9XM’s 30-feet-long Wall of Music is another innovative example. On the occasion of World Music Day 2012, 9XM set up a 30-feet-long Wall of Music enabled with augmented reality technology at the Chatrapati Shivaji Terminus in Mumbai and at The Great India Place, a shopping mall in Noida, bordering Delhi. This digital wall enabled viewers to download Bollywood songs free of cost by scanning movie posters on the wall using their smartphones. Being a first-of-its-kind innovation to make World Music Day memorable, the activity got 9XM featured in the Limca Book of Records.
To be sure, such larger-than-life activations from the television industry have been too few and far in-between, with auto and consumer durables and increasingly personal technology products hogging the limelight. Ernst and Young’s white-paper on the ‘Business of Experiences’ states that the organised segment of the Indian events and activation industry has grown at over 20% since 2010. As marketers plan to increase their below-the-line (BTL) spends, the industry is expected to grow to R 4,375 crore by mid-2014. But having said that, the study also suggests that the events and activation industry in India has seen its lowest transaction activity among all segments of the media and entertainment sector.
Quite a few industry pundits agree