During the IPL, there is a striking advertisement campaign by Sony Entertainment Channel itself. The promo shows a small girl walking up to her grandma with rangoli in her hands. The theme coming through is ‘Badal rahe hai aap, badal rahe hai hum’ (translated to: You are changing, so are we) This article is strat.in ‘s analysis of the features and reasons behind this dynamic campaign.
The premise: Till Q2 2008, there were 3 dominant GECs (General entertainment Channels) in India with Sahara One and Star one being fringe players. However, with NDTV imagine and Colors coming through and carving a huge impact for themselves through extremely innovative and classy programming mix, the market fundamentals have changed. The Q1 2009 figures indicated that in the first week of March, Colors became number 1 GEC in India, within 6-8 months of its launch. With NDTV imagine overtaking Sony, SET was languishing at 5th spot in the lineup, which automatically meant lower ad revenues.
The immediate context: Every GEC knows that any new program launch during IPL is fruitless. SET network did a smart thing by having IPL on its own channel, SET MAX. What this meant was that IPL became a platform for the network. Even last year, a couple of shows were launched post IPL which garnered a huge response from viewers. Clearly, leveraging IPL was an opportunity the wise men of SET wouldn’t like to miss.
The attempt: The effort is clearly directed at branding the channel effectively, not only through Sony and SET MAX, but also through other partner channels in the network as well. The punchline shows that the channel is customer centric and cater’s to the consumer’s changing preferences effortlessly. To quote Danish Khan, the SET marketing head,
While the viewer has global aspirations reflecting in his lifestyle, he remains rooted in traditions. In these times, when there has been a proliferation of channels and with the emergence of the subscription model, the consumer is spoilt for choice. It becomes imperative to build and retain the brand in the consumers’ minds.
The buzz creation: For any media, ‘Buzz creation’ is THE keyword for any successful brand/programming relaunch. Sony is trying to create a buzz with this program where girlfriends of a character called Bhaskar vent out their frustrations over his behavior. The promo has certainly created curiosity among the target audience of Sony. What might be interesting though, is that the channel may not and should not depend on only one program. Perhaps we may see many more promos post say May 15, when the IPL reaches its climax.
Critique: Will this help? It will certainly create recall, but pure recall isn’t enough in today’s world. The incumbent TV shows would be difficult to dislodge from the consumer’s minds. Also, I hope for SET’s sake that its not too little too late. One strategic milestone here would be how Sony handles itself post IPL, which would be a tough passage for itself. Also, shows like Dus ka Dum, a part of SET’s programming mix last year as well, saw a huge initial draw, but TRPs(TV ratings) reduced in the latter half of the season.
Strat.in opinion – 4/5 on strategy, but implementation = ?/5
Until the next time, Keep ‘strat.in’g!
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