NDTV India puts heart into new tag line

MUMBAI: "Zubaan Pe Sach, Dil Mein India." No this is not a variant on the ruling BJP's India Shining campaign that bids to play up on the "feel good" sentiment the country is in at present (or so the media tells us).

This happens to be NDTV India's new tag line thrown up by creative whizz Prasoon Joshi's team at McCann whose stated aim is to take the core message of what the channel represents "to the next level." And that message is being played out across India's Hindi-speaking terrain through multiple media vehicles.

NDTV Media CEO Raj Nayak says the new campaign broke last Monday through outdoor hoardings, cinema / television (not just on the NDTV news channels), magazines like Outlook and The Week, newspapers, Radio (Red FM in Delhi, Mirchi FM and Win FM in Mumbai and All India Radio in the Hindi heartland.

Stickers have been put on 100,000 vehicles across north India. Says Nayak, "The best thing about the slogan is that that we really didn't have to push hard for people to take the stickers. The lines are so popular that we know of cases in Delhi where some people even started selling them."

Scooter stepnee covers have also been used to carry the message. Nayak says 50,000 have been distributed in the first phase and another will be given out 50,000 in the second phase.

Says Nayak of the purpose behind the effort, "This campaign we hope will connect with the people. It is simple, direct colloquial and goes right to the heart of India."

Click here for larger image Three sets of ads have been scripted around the baseline of which the first is running at present. Phase two of the campaign kicks off tomorrow (Friday) with the next script, informs Nayak.

Explaining the thought process that went behind the campaign, Nayak says it could be traced back to the slogan with which NDTV launched itself after the break with erstwhile partner Star. "When the NDTV channels were launched, a whole lot of brainstorming went into just what should be the positioning statement of the channels." For NDTV 24x7 there was never a problem since most of the faces on the channel were well known and since Dr Prannoy Roy's greatest asset was his reputation for credibility the message "Credibility has many Faces" was pushed. Even for NDTV India, the pitch and positioning was similar with "Khabar wohi jo Sach Dikhaye" (only news that reflects the real truth), Nayak points out.

If it was working so well, why the change? Nayak claims that the change was forced on the channel because two months down the line after the launch of NDTV India, "We found that everyone had repositioned their own tag lines. Except the leader Aaj Tak that is which has stayed with "Sab se Tez" (the fastest with the news)."

Nayak points out that earlier everyone harped on the speed element ("Sabse se Pehla" - the first with the news - on Zee News and "Aap ko rakhe Aage" - we keep you ahead - on Star News).

Now Zee has changed its line to "Haqeeqat Jaissi, Khabar Waissi" while Sahara News is "Sampoorna Sach", both of which harp on the truth and credibility line, says Nayak. Referring to Star News, Nayak, while admitting that Star News had stayed with its original base line, states that NDTV India's closest rival also ran many promos around the truth proposition.

Nayak credits Joshi's creative team with having come up with the line that perfectly puts forth NDTV India's positioning proposition - truth / credibility as an expression of the channel's foremost interest being the country.

What with the elections around the corner, the team at NDTV would be hoping that the tag line connects to the people and helps serve as a launch pad in its attempt to bridge the gap with the leader Aaj Tak.

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