Innovation – SMS voting for Nature’s Reality Shows

Reality Shows: Attractive NEW business opportunity for Television News channels.

According to a survey on early 2009, Reality Shows attracted 45 million sms votes. (April 21, 2009 — See Graphic)

The PM’s Relief Fund has promised Rs. 125 crores for Leh. The floods in Pakistan are begging for aid fuzzily estimated to be of the order of USD 1 billion. I, like many others, would like to do my bit.

Nature’s reality shows are far more ruthless than “The moment of truth” on TV. As a matter of fact, her reality shows are the moment of truth for those in the line of fire. So much for philosophy — let me get straight to the point.

My idea is simple –  ‘SMS your vote for Aid’ – and I’m not even asking for any credit; just let’s do it!

This is how it works –

1. The news anchor shows footage of relief efforts in Leh and then flashes 

From your Airtel mobile “Type LEH/PAK <AMT>” and send it to 56789″ (a la Indian Idol to vote for Shreeram ‘Type SHREERAM and send it to 5688’). eg. PAK 10 will debit you Rs. 10 which will be given to Pakistan’s Flood relief fund.

2. The amount you enter comes on your bill (please don’t commit 4-figure sums through this scheme and expect tax relief) and makes you feel good that you did your bit speedily and effectively. Incidentally, you also pay the additional Rs. 6 that is charged for this type of sm. Therefore if you just wrote PAK, you’d still pay Rs. 6.

Now for the best part …

1. You win – You get to do your bit for relief and feel good that you could do so instantly and spontaneously.

2. The News Channel and operator nexus wins – They get to reach out without any additional expense or effort and get huge mileage as being socially responsible.

3. The affected win – The people of Leh and Pak get quick mobilisation of funds through various agencies.

What say chaps! My simple math tells me that just the Rs. 6 per sms could garner Rs. 20 million per ‘episode’. Multiply that with just 3 channels and 3 providers and we have a serious enough business case here.


PS: If there are no takers in the News fraternity, I might just ‘sell’ the idea to CHHOTE USTAAD. They’re doing a fair job of bringing our two nations together through pairing musical kids.

PPS: For @mehmal

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8 Replies to “Innovation – SMS voting for Nature’s Reality Shows”

  1. I think this is a really good plan. But will the TV channels want to be in on it? Knowing their standards (or rather the lack of it), they might not want to do anything unless there’s a WOW factor involved.

    I’ll spread the word about this all the same


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