?The youth general entertainment channel (GEC) from STAR India, Channel V is celebrating the fourth edition of its biggest on-ground event, IndiaFest, which was launched in association with Nokia all these years. The finale will be held on February 7 and 8 in Goa, after zonal competitions in eight cities.
Having reached out to more than 3 million students with active participation of a whopping 1753 colleges last year, the fest has this year got registrations from 22000 colleges across 25 cities and will be giving out prizes worth Rs 50 lakh across 25 events. These events include rock band competition, beauty pageants, fashion shows, DJ duels and even a short film contest.
The property has been earning 15-20 per cent higher revenues year on year. With its success, the channel now plans to launch two more events and an announcement is expected around August.
In its first year, IndiaFest was sponsored by Nokia, while there are about 12 sponsors this year, which shows that the event has come a long way. Brands such as FOGG, Airtel, Honda, Woodland and Moser Baer have tied-up in different categories including powered by sponsor of the Finale, associate sponsors and exhibit partners.
Drawing experience from the huge crowd that turned up for the event last year, the channel has made arrangements for nearly a lakh people this year. Last year, the footfall of the event was about 40,000. Prem Kamath, channel head, Channel V, adds, "Participation has gone up by almost 100 per cent. We have had 500-600 participants earlier, this year we had about 1000 participants in each zonal."
Kamath adds that although the event started out as a marketing initiative, it is completely on its own now. He adds, "It is now an independent event with sponsors being very responsive to it. We have a full team that works on the event round the year."
There will an hour's content that will be shown on the channel, but Kamath emphasises that it was never devised for on-air viewing. "There is only so much fun to watch it. Fest is about experiencing. We are open to take it to 12 cities the next year. Let's see!"
The channel has representatives across 400-500 colleges, called 'Channel V Rep', who help to co-ordinate the event within the colleges in a large way, and that, Nipa Asharam, VP, marketing, Channel V believes is their best marketing strategy. "It's all organic. Word of mouth is the best thing for youth marketing and I will be happier if we could pull out an event with 'zero' marketing spends," she adds.
She adds that the marketing spend of the channel hasn't gone up in the past year. The channel had conducted a research and keeping the results in mind, introduced a couple of changes. Going out of the mainstream, the channel recently launched a mobile app called Vith U for women's safety.
IndiaFest is another off-mainstream initiative by the channel. Generally, the college fests are in smaller premises with limited resources. Asharam adds, "No corporate has put in this kind of effort, otherwise. We wanted the brands to come and do it for the kids."
In an official communiqué, Viral Oza, director, marketing, Nokia, says, "At a time when the youth are constantly looking towards expanding horizons, we bring to them Nokia IndiaFest, a perfect platform for the youth to showcase their talent in front of their peers."
Among the celebrity judges, Neha Dhupia and Dino Morea decide who will be the Campus Diva and Campus Stud. Nishka Lulla will judge the fashion show, Rampage. Rohan Sippy chooses the best filmmaker, DJ Suketu will pick the DJ of the future (in the event Turning Tables) and Suraj Jaggan will judge the Rock competition, Nokia Launchpad.