India TV campaign stresses on channel's difference in outlook

MUMBAI: Another news channel has entered the already cluttered Indian news channels' arena - Rajat Sharma's India TV. The channel's confident and go-getting tagline "Desh Badalna Hai To Channel Badlo" splashed over hoardings, throws an in your face challenge to all the others in the fray.

An extensive multi-media campaign involving print, outdoor, cinemas and radio is being looked at. While the print and outdoor campaigns have already started, the radio campaign is set to launch in a week's time.

Managing the whole campaign, which includes not just the planning and buying aspect but marketing as well, is Euro RSCG's media buying arm MPG.

Speaking on the strategy employed by them for India TV, MPG India CEO V Ramani said, "We have been a part of India TV from the earliest conception of the idea. We surveyed the other news channels and found out that there were a lot of gaps in their programming. The requirement for a new news channel was there and India TV will be different in the way that it will go beyond the normal reporting in the half hour news capsule. A stark difference will be noticed in the way India TV reports viz-a-viz the others. We have spent almost six months working closely with the team."

Elaborating more on how the channel will be different from the rest, Ramani said, "The content will be different from the rest, as India TV will concentrate more on the interiors of India which usually get ignored."

India TV's swanky office in Delhi

Talking about the advertising that will be on the channel, Ramani offered, "Advertisers are very important for any channel and they need to feel important and create an impact with their ads. So we are taking a holistic approach to this. Every ad of theirs will be a solus spot. We are not here to gather more and more ads and irritate viewers. Ads are important, but we are doing with the bare minimum."

India TV through their five solus ad breaks in 20 minutes of programming hopes to provide the advertiser clutter free advertising. The channel's head of ad sales and marketing Sanjay Reddy said, "Usually advertisers are worried about who their ad is coming with and when it is coming. So we adopted the strategy of solus ad breaks through which the concept of the TVR of an ad break versus the TVR of the programming can be history." The point here is not to lose viewers in the otherwise tedious ad breaks.

Looking ahead Reddy said, "At present we are concentrating in making our presence felt in the Northern and Western non-metro hinterlands of the country. We already have 77 per cent control over the metros of Mumbai and Delhi. We want to give value to the viewer through our reporting and are using Reliance's fibre optic network to get more news in less time from a lot of locations around the country."

Rajat Sharma all geared up for competition

On the programming front, apart from Rajat Sharma, the channel will have recognised anchors like Tarun Tejpal, Maneka Gandhi, Sohaib Ilyasi and Nafisa Ali. While Sharma will anchor his pet project Aap Ki Adaalat, Tejpal will anchor an half hour show called Aaj Ka Tehelka. Gandhi will anchor Jeene Ki Raah, whereas Ali will anchor a talk show where she would be travelling the length and breadth of the country talking to a host of people. Ilyasi will host a show India TV's Most Wanted. The channel's brand positioning and marketing strategies will revolve around the anchors. While the hoardings of India TV already sport the faces of Sharma, Gandhi and Tejpal, very soon Ilyasi and Ali will come into prominence via the outdoor and print campaigns.

India TV's head of distribution Arun Poddar said, "Our marketing act will be programming and consumer based." Speaking on what activities were being planned by them for the cable fraternity, Poddar said, "We will take up the operators after a while when our complete programming is in place. We are planning on a one-to-one direct contact with the cable operators." Currently 18 professionals comprise the distribution team of the channel across the country in the Hindi speaking belt excluding South India.

Tarun Tejpal promises Tehelka on India TV

India TV will be targeting the prime Hindi speaking markets of the country in two phases. The first phase will involve major towns and capitals, primarily in the states of Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Gujarat, while the second phase will target below the line towns with a population of over 100,000 and will also involve South Indian cities like Hyderabad, Chennai, Bangalore and Mangalore.

While India TV's buoyant and confident mood can be felt from its tagline itself, it remains to be seen whether the channel delivers what it so vehemently promises.

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