DD to pitch itself as attractive platform to push mid-level brands

NEW DELHI: Forget dominance in viewership; project the sort and quality of spending these viewers do. This is the message that TBWA Anthem has conveyed to India's pubcaster Doordarshan that is attempting to come up with a brand building and revenue generation strategy to exploit the scenario that would unfold in a post-CAS regime.


The import of the advise is that nobody disputes the dominance in viewership of DD --- the pubcaster through its 17-odd channels covers terrestrially almost 90 per cent of India's population --- but what needs to be projected is the type of audience that come on to watch the DD channels, especially the DD National and DD Metro channels.

The spending power of such audiences needs to be highlighted in the proper manner if DD is serious about maximizing its revenue, which just about managed to meet the annual target for the financial year ended 31 March, 2003.

TBWA Anthem, along with JWT, has been contracted by Doordarshan to spruce up its image and come out with a brand building strategy. The former will focus on the revenue generation part of the strategy, while JWT is supposed to look at the aspect of driving viewership. The two agencies are in the process of giving presentations to DD's director-general SY Quraishi in Mumbai today.

It is also being sought to be impressed on DD by TBWA Anthem that the quality of spending and the areas DD viewers spend on need to be put across to advertisers and clients in an effective manner.

In this regard, it has been pointed out that Unilever's Indian arm Hindustan Lever, the biggest spender on media in the country, has an array of products out of which it may like to advertise some of them on DD if the profiles of the viewers are available. HLL, for instance, may opt for the satellite channels with high-end premium products, but DD can be a better vehicle for a particular brand of soap aimed at middle class and lower middle class households. Especially if such products are targeted at rural and semi-urban areas of the country where satellite penetration is still in its infancy.

The two agencies will also help DD to launch a massive promotional campaign that will highlight the reach of DD, the quality of viewership and the reasons that make DD a better option, especially in a post-CAS scenario when it is expected that in the short term the viewership of pay channels will fall because of the need of a set-top box to access pay channels as mandated by the government.

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