Using creativity to scale through the epidemic: Discovery India

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The effects of the Covid epidemic were seen across the industry as India fought the disease. Advertising interest in India’s Discovery Network has dwindled, while digital ad earnings have grown by more than 200 per cent in FY2020-21. A big part of this success can be ascribed to our bold move into the OTT arena, which made use of our long-running linear TV networks.

This year, Discovery executed over 40 projects in a variety of formats, including sponsored content, brand licencing, content integrations, and partnerships by leveraging the power and reach of its conventional linear business units. Into the Wild with Bear Grylls, a programme that became a big IP for us was likewise a high-impact format that we saw as a way to get viewers to tune in. We were able to generate disproportionate advertising income because of the franchise’s impressive guest list. Ajay Devgn and Bear Grylls’ big IP of 2021, Into the Wild, allowed us to explore new advertising possibilities via a varied spectrum of sponsors.

In addition to this, we’ve attracted well-known brands like LIC & AMFI from the financial services industry, Coca-Cola from the consumer-packaged goods industry, and handset clients to our exclusive sports IPs on Eurosport. Within two years of its introduction, Eurosport had a significant increase in viewing from Q1 to Q2.

For our second season of Star vs Food S2, we collaborated with Korea Tourism in first-of-its-kind cooperation. It was our hope that by forming this alliance, we might draw on Korean popular culture while also creating something that Indian fans would be able to identify with. The inaugural episode of the show, featuring Janhvi Kapoor, had unique integrations such as Korean dishes and K-pop singers as part of the partnership.

For the fourth time, our cooperation with Biju’s was renewed for the Discovery School Super League, i.e., India’s most significant quiz competition in 2021. So far, more than 54,000 schools and more than 12.85 million students have taken part in the programme. As part of its partnership with Hershey’s Jolly Rancher Lollipops, Discovery Kids launched its first-ever integrated campaign featuring a full-scale blockbuster film. In addition, in 2021, we partnered with the UP government for the first time to produce a series of documentaries highlighting the state’s culture and history. Kashi Vishwanath Dham was restored by our present PM in another cooperation.

Creating content that appeals to both marketers and viewers is a priority for Discovery. In order for this to work, the brand and the content have to be in sync conceptually. It is imperative that we continue to build special services that benefit both the brand and our stakeholders as the nation moves beyond this epidemic.

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