Aaj Tak claims absolute numero uno status amongst news channels; launches new ad campaign

Aaj Tak is making hay out of the conflict in Afghanistan. If the ratings are to be believed, the Hindi news channel from the India Today stable has soared way ahead of competitors Star News and Zee News, as well as the BBC and CNN.

As per TAM figures for the week ended 20 October, Aaj Tak commanded a 50 per cent share as against Zee News' 35 per cent share. BBC had a share of 5 per cent while CNN boasted a 3 per cent share. As per INTAM figures for the week ended 7 October, Aaj Tak had a channel share of 42 per cent as against Zee News' 37 per cent. Aaj Tak maintained the channel share among the premium audiences (Sec A,B/25+) as well, while the channel share of Zee News dropped by 5 per cent.

The channel claims that on 7 October, the day the news that the hilly nation had been attacked by the coalition against terrorism broke, Aaj Tak drew the highest audience, with the channel witnessing a 156 per cent increase in its viewership. Viewers, says a press release, tuned into Aaj Tak for national as well as international news.

It had earlier witnessed an increase of four times in its usual viewership immediately after the attacks on the World Trade Centre in New York.

Says Aaj Tak CEO G Krishnan: "Aaj Tak's dynamic programming wheel format coupled with the state-of-the-art technology and uplink facility from India allows it to break news immediately."

The media group is hoping to further consolidate the gains it has made in recent times by harping on this point in a new ad campaign, which is planned to run across outdoor, cinema, radio and print until March 2002. The campaign tries to reinforce the message Aaj Tak is the first to deliver news to viewers.

Communication for the outdoors is largely slated to be through hoardings (billboards), kiosks and buses in Delhi and Mumbai. The key line of the ad campaign: "Aaj Tak -Sabse Tez Channel". Promos can also be watched in leading cinema halls nationally and heard on select FM and Vivid Bharati radio stations in all major cities.

The extensive media activity is to be complemented through ad releases in group magazines such as India Today and Business Today.

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