Except for DNA, everything in ‘MTV Roadies 18’ has changed: Anshul Ailawadi

Viacom18 head of youth, music and English entertainment spoke exclusively to

Mumbai: Viacom18 has completely sold out the inventory for “MTV Roadies: Season 18” in what is to be one of the most “financially healthy” seasons of the long-running show, Viacom18 head of youth, music and English entertainment Anshul Ailawadi told at the launch event.

This season of “Roadies” has onboarded Infinix Smartphones as ‘presenting’ partner and CoinSwitch, Paree Sanitary Pads, Leverage Edu and Lakme Sun Expert as ‘co-powered by’ partner. It has also partnered with Rage Coffee, Wai Wai Noodles, Big Muscle Nutrition, Fly High Institute, Romsons Perfume.

“Outside of sport in India, I don’t know of any entertainment property that has a handset manufacturer, a crypto exchange, a make-up brand, an ed-tech company, and a sanitary pad manufacturer as your ‘presenting’ and ‘powered by’ sponsors,” said Ailwadi. “Then, of course, we have the NBA, Wai Wai Noodles, Rage Coffee and a couple more brands that have partnered with “Roadies.” This is India’s longest-running adventure reality show and for the interest of young people, honestly, there’s no better vehicle for the engagement that we offer.”

This year’s "MTV Roadies" will be hosted in South Africa. “The idea was to scale up the show 10 times and visually when we looked at which country or location was the best candidate, the consensus was that South Africa was the spot,” noted Ailwadi. “The kind of landscape and opportunities that it offers are very rare.”

The fresh season of “Roadies” will witness 20 new contestants who will be paired in a new ‘Buddy pairs’ format. The troop will hit the road and create pit stops across destinations where the contestants will unravel clues for their next task and destination. The new format will also see contestants and Sonu Sood come together over bonding sessions and camp fire huddles.

When queried about the format changes, Ailawadi said, “Let me answer that in another way by telling you what has not changed? The only thing that has not changed is the fact that the DNA of the show is about an adventure and a journey. Everything else has changed. This season has a new host, new location and new format. The show is still about pushing yourself and doing things you never thought you were capable of doing while inspiring your peers. That’s the gist of it. There are several innovations this season but you must watch the show to know more.”

To promote the new season, Viacom18 will broadcast the entire first episode of the show on five channels including MTV, MTV Beats, Colors Infinity, Comedy Central and Vh1 as well as roadblock 15 network channels to drive tune-ins. They have also launched a 360-degree marketing campaign across TV, digital, radio and outdoor.

“We’ve done a campaign with Sonu Sood, who is known for taking migrant workers to their homes during Covid-19, in partnership with metros in Delhi, Bangalore and Bombay that will broadcast a public service announcement voiced by Sonu Sood,” shared Ailawadi.

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