Aaj Tak now breaking news on Sony's 'Saaksshi'

MUMBAI: "In today's competitive world, nothing you do is enough," says Aaj Tak marketing head Rajesh Sheshadri. And of course that holds true, even if we are talking about the numero uno Hindi news channel in the country - Aaj Tak.

Indian news channels have been making their presence felt on the big screen lately. While Star News was seen in Ram Gopal Varma's Ek Hasina Thi, NDTV was prominent in Yash Raj Films' Hum Tum and Aaj Tak has also been involved in a lot of brand placements in flicks like Company, Koi Mil Gaya and Khakee.

And that's not where it ends. Aaj Tak has now taken the television route to increase viewer recall for its channel.    

In the last four weeks, Aaj Tak has been strategically placed twice in Sony Entertainment Television's recently launched weekend serial Saaksshi. Says Sheshadri, "We have been exploring new avenues for a while now. And we were in talks with Sony on this for quite some time. In Saaksshi, we found a brand fit that worked well for both of us."

Saaksshi revolves around a middle class girl who has rare aspirations and dreams and who refuses to be tied down by the rules of society. She works as an undercover operative in an anti-terrorist squad. And where does Aaj Tak fit? In the last episode which was aired on 12 June at 9 pm, a character in the serial - Baaz hatches a devious plan, where he hires an Aaj Tak cameraman for a make believe news production house. He gives him a tape and asks him to make a copy. In the tape, there is a bomb hidden and the target is the Aaj Tak office. Prior to that, in the episode aired on 22 May, the protagonist of the serial - Saaksshi - was shown sitting in the canteen, when she sees some breaking news on television and the channel is but of course - Aaj Tak.

While regular mass media advertising will also be continued by the channel, more and more innovative advertising is also being looked at to cut through the clutter and ensure maximum impact for the brand. "This kind of advertising helps us stay top of mind," says Sheshadri.

One thing that the channel keeps in mind is that the brand is placed where it is relevant to whatever context it is being placed in. While a lot of things on these lines are being looked at by the channel. Sheshadri says, "Before we associate with any channel or movie, we do a credential check of the people involved in the project. When a brand placement in a movie is being considered, we first check out the producer, the size of the movie, the stars involved in it and more importantly how our brand is going to be placed in it."

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