Hallmark says short term ad revenue targets within reach

MUMBAI: Mediascope Associates, which has been handling the Hallmark ad sales account since March, says the channel is on course to exceed its short term revenue goals for end December by ten per cent.

While the scene for Hallmark in Asia may not look too healthy - last month, it was reported that the channel was planning to cut 130 jobs across the Asia Pacific region in a bid to curb costs and that it is also planning to reduce the number of feeds. The channel has however picked up from where it was in India a year ago.

Speaking to on how effective the channel had been in attracting advertisers to the channel by positioning it as one viewed by both parents and children, Mediascope head Rohinton Maloo said that currently at any point in time, there are eight to 10 premium brands targeting SEC A advertising on the channel.

Giving a boost to Hallmark's revenue stream is the virtual product placement which recently kicked in and can be seen on the Saturday night movie on the channel. The technique in question is logo morph. Just before and after each interval the logo of the credit card provider Mastercard which sponsors that block morphs with Hallmarks logo.

The ads are slotted according to viewership profile. The afternoon band which sees women tuning in a lot will be sponsored by a brand like Whirlpool which caters to that segment. The early evening band when kids shows like Clifford and Callilou air is taken up by a brand like Perfetti. The evening band sees advertisers of apparels targetting the youth segment. Mastercard advertises at night since the whole family tunes in and the product can be used by anyone.

Maloo also expressed satisfaction at how Hallmark was able to hook advertisers like Whirlpool, TCI by providing a presence on retail Hallmark chains throughout the country. When queried as to why there was just one sponsor Beam Toothpaste for the Friday night premiere Falling from Grace Maloo said: "A hallmark of the channel lies in providing value for clients. Too many sponsors would lead to clutter and it would be difficult for a brand to stand out. Therefore at the most we take two brands for sponsoring a particular programme unlike other channels which take anywhere from five to ten. There are also less ads on the channel as the interval is just five minutes compared to ten minutes on rival channels. The reason for this is to ensure viewers do not indulge in channel surfing. The quality of delivery is important for us."

Maloo maintained that the ad rate on the channel was very competitive compared to other channels like Star Movies, Zee MGM. Interestingly, when contacted, a media buyer handling the accounts for prominent FMCGs told that Hallmark does not figure in any of his plans. The blockbuster oriented HBO and Star Movies are sufficient at the moment, he said.

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