The Next Level of Content Convergence
By Marriam Nazir
Meet the real
KAKI BOLA, the prime time football talk show on TV 9 made waves in the Malaysian scenes when it first aired in January 2012. Revolutionizing the concept of media integration, the channel in collaboration with Hot FM, has been undertaking grander projects and more adventurous steps with their talk show platform.
Media Prima Radio Networks’ Chief Executive Officer, Seelan Paul and General Manager of Brand Management Group at CH-9 Media Sdn Bhd, Sherina Mohamed Nordin spearheading and orchestrating the collaboration met with me to explain the intricacies and idiosyncrasies of what seemed to be yet another integrated campaign.
Or so I thought, under the mis-apprehension.
“We have always been working together but more on the surface level and very much based on numerical targets. It usually revolves around giving each other coverage and exposure. Then we got tired of the usual and we wanted more,” said Seelan, of how the decision and the implementation of such a project was conceived.
Sharing a very similar target audience of young, tech savvy, under 30, mass Malays the two channels put together an interim team for a beatnik session of brainstorming. “We had 20 people in a hotel room, where we spent time brain storming and exchanging ideas on whether this project can ever take off”, chuckled Sherina on the unconventionality of their approach to this project.
The team hoped to capitalize on their individual strengths and unique reach.
The TV9-Hot FM collaboration took off with three projects, Kaki Bola, Versus and third, a work in progress ‘a young-family oriented’ project.
Leveraging on prime-time hours of 9:30 to 10:30 Monday evenings, Kaki Bola is a live, football talk-show that has its roots in Hot FM where the conversation begins de facto, at 06:00 pm and by the same host.
“We vocalized that we are essentially talking to the same market, so instead of talking about each other’s media vehicle and brand we figured, why not pool our resources and talk about something together. We are a visual extension of sorts to the radio show when it comes to Kaki Bola”, elaborated Seelan.
“It has generated a lot of talkability for our brands and since January we are lucky to experience the welcoming and proactive response from our audience”.
Numbers and statistics show that Kaki Bola has surpassed other football talk shows in the country and have reached a weekly audience of 200,000 and more. The chemistry between the two teams have clicked beyond all imagination. Humble beginnings from the hotel room of 20 colleagues, have resulted in millions of impressions online and countless talkability amongst fans on both products. With a clear intent to create products that we (the target market of both stations) love and are not afraid to consume, have translated into amazing results for both brands. “There is ownership by both. We share ideas, share resources, share risks. And for that, we share the rewards together too.”
What are your digital strategies when it comes to Kaki Bola?
This project is engineered to work with social media and online. Whatever we do we make sure it is a part of our conversation because that is where the conversation is. Our mix of talkability and engagement with our audience has helped us surpass most sports talk shows. Digital in and of itself is pixels and it needs the nuts and bolts of other media and tangible paradigms to take it off the ground. To that end, we have started organizing a weekly game of football and our host team plays with a team of our viewers. Believe it or not, the idea came up from the audience. In the wake of that we created #kakibola. And wouldn’t you know it, our audience started talking about it and including us in the conversation.
In short our digital is our platform for the audience to become a part of our content and not have it pushed on to them. It is not new to us anymore that relevance is the fuel of a digital conversation today.
Viewers are candid in their approach; they tend to say it like it is. We, at Kakibola take that seriously and into consideration.
Your second project is Versus. Tell us something about that.
Versus is a music reality show that has just recently aired. Contestants in the show remix and record new songs that they then perform at the end of the week. This is also broadcasted across TV9 and Hot FM.
Both brands have strong roots in music. With Versus, both TV9 and Hot FM wanted to make a difference in the music industry and we wanted to provide a strong platform to allow creativity and push it to its utmost potential. All of our efforts and resources were put into selecting the best breed of local bands and allow them to play with their imagination by refreshing Malaysia’s popular songs.
To ensure that the bands continue to produce great music, no elimination is a definite key factor in the Versus formula. The finale will be in June, and until then we are still enjoying this ride with the whole crew.
During the week the songs remixed and played on Versus with TV9 enjoy airtime on radio, rendering a fresh sound to the airwaves of Hot FM.
At the end of the day, our shows are viewer driven. We want them to feel they are a part of the content and not just the users of it.
Versus is streamed live on radio when the show is going on TV. Hot FM plays the new songs that the contestants have re-mixed and produced on the TV show that week. So the presence of the shows is very palpable during the day when we tune in.
This is the evolution of the broadcast medium. This is what makes for good social TV, the next generation of TV.
What does the near future look like, for this collaboration?
We are working on a Ramadan and Raya campaign, all we can tell you is that it will be mind blowing.
In terms of value and ROI where do you see this show heading?
Brands and clients are invited to leverage on this amplified and relevant conversation we have going. Team Malaysia is already on board and has taken up the initiative; because this project is in line with their brand direction for football. Recently, Coca-Cola too, got on board with us.
This is not your usual partnership, it is a co-ownership. Not just the promotion of one promoting the other. We would say it is content convergence. Similar audiences with new content generated for them, as a team. We allow the content to grow and for the audience to own it as well.
We would say it is the evolution of integration as Kakibola will become part of the audiences’ lives and it will not just be a television show or a radio broadcast, or a prediction table in the Harian Metro. It will be Kakibola, the local football talk-show. For our clients and other brands to be a part of it would be the right thing to do.
We hope to spread our wings and get hotter as we continue to grow. Whatever the future of society, we need to be relevant today and now.