Zee TV revs up its publicity efforts

MUMBAI: Zee TV is raising the tempo as far as "media noise" is concerned.

The "letting content speak for itself" proposition, a line that Zee had been peddling till just a few months back, is apparently not cutting much ice with the viewer and Subhash Chandra's flagship channel is now more aggressively pushing its fare.

While numerous billboards are making their presence felt in Mumbai, it's the media campaign that seems to have heated up. An example of this is the promotional campaign around its new show, the emotional saga Awaaz. The press material was presented as a tabloid newspaper.

Soon to be former Zee TV president Apurva Purohit responding to queries put to her by indiantelevision.com yesterday, said: "As the media industry matures content and content promotion become increasingly important and our strategy reflects the same. The change is brought to usher in a new era and to stand apart in a cluster with all brand values intact."

Touting the famous Zee News Tag line, Haqueqat Jaise, Khabar Waise, the media release for Awaaz, waxes eloquent on the 'news': the next high point of the show.

"The idea of this promotional strategy was conceived by our Corporate Brand Development Group team. The whole objective is to be innovative. Everyone sends a press note but what I thought was ride on the story line of that episode and imagine if it had actually happened then how it would have been reported in the media and that's how its was conceived. Primarily it was driven by the overall promotional strategy to be distinct," offered Purohit.

Previously the channel has used innovative techniques to build up excitement for its new ventures like Tum Bin Jaaoon Kahaan, Kabhie Kabhie, Manshaa and Astiva… Ek Prem Kahani.

One that got noticed is the Tum Bin... campaign. The channel hired an astrologer (jyotishi) who did the rounds of the media agency predicting the future of the employees. On the public front, barring the numerous hoarding, the channel released advertorials in leading newspapers and tabloids narrating the true incident that the story was based on. Apparently the trick worked and the show got better viewership.

A senior marketing executive at Zee offered that unlike a year back, when the channel had no clear focus on its publicity and marketing, this year saw a more structured effort in place. Just prior to the launch of Tum Bin... and in the initial weeks of its run, the marketing and the creative team worked in unison and released an ad to introduce the characters. The team thought that it was best to unveil the real life incident later to build on the excitement mid-way.

The channel is also doing a lot of cross channel promotions. While it is too soon to comment whether the new shows have benefited from the promotional push, one area where the channel has clearly tasted success is for its Thursday Premiers .

According to Purohit, the channel is constantly working on innovative promotional activities for its Premier slot. "Thus came in the apple in Darna Mana Hai, or the whole Madhuri Dixit hoopla that drive the essence of the brand in our viewers mind. With the promotions pushing the fare, the slot is doing well. Hungama and Main Madhuri Dixit Banna Chahti Hoon got extremely high TVR's and cities like Mumbai crossed 8+," offered Purohit.

At the moment, the channel has its hopes pinned on its new blockbuster movie line up of films like Chalte Chalte and Mumbai Se Aaya Mera Dost.

Purohit avered that although Zee has really been pumping it up on the promotions front, it is the channel's content that is both unique and differentiating. "The packaging and promotional activities are further layers in driving sampling of these programmes, which is increasing every week," she added

Unlike in earlier times, Zee now has started to promote individual programmes, outside the 8-10 pm prime time with very focused and hard hitting marketing strategies to coincide with new launches. The channel will be laying stress on Sundays. Sundays would be promoted aggressively as "entire family time", Purohit said.

The channel has over 200 brands on air currently, including Hindustan Lever, Procter and Gamble, Coke, Pepsi, Hutch Airtel, Dabur, All Out, Paras Pharmaceuticals, Whirlpool and Samsung endorsing the fare, Purohit added.

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