'Antidote to melodrama' StarOne's advertising pitch

MUMBAI: Priya Chaubal: "My intelligence is insulted with all this this exaggerated and over dramatic stuff on TV, it's such a turn off."

Rahul Mehra: “TV viewing is meant to relax oneself...but all this exasperated ‘rona dhona’ stresses me out even more.”

Preeti Krishnan: “I don't know if I should be crying or laughing listening to all those strange English accents and supposed jokes!”

A segment thats tuned off from television. A section of the pie that would much rather indulge themselves in other activities for entertainment. Individuals who consider TV viewing mundane and regressive. This group seems to have been the core proposition that went into the creation of StarOne. These unsatiated viewers fulfill their needs by constantly toying with several channels and programmes

The Viewers: A sizeable section that refuses to be identified with the K-serials.

The Mission: Capitalising on the polarisation of these viewers mindset and their fragmented viewing behaviour.



Touted as one of the big budget campaigns for the season, StarOne has already made a loud media splash across all metros.

Conceptualised by Lowe, the positioning of StarOne as a brand was essentially as "an antidote to melodrama". The task at hand was to establish a powerful connect that mirrored the trends and tastes of this section of viewers.

StarOne's proposition came from insights and emerging trends that the market seemed to be subtly displaying.

    A visible change in the boom markets.

    Craving for quality and privilege among the masses

    Taking heed of the key drivers, they being rising affluence, evolving tastes and very simply out-growing the core basic product.

Translating StarOne into a ‘special’ channel that connected to this particular section at their wavelength was what the communication aimed to do.

The challenge for Star India and Lowe seemed to primarily be the positioning of this product as a channel for the discerning few while at the same time retaining its mass relevance.

Broken up into four phases: Pre-launch, Announcer, Brand Theme Communication and Content, each phase has very clearly defined objectives.

TV se tuned off: The pre-launch teaser (4 - 17 October) phase was to create disruption, curiosity and expectation.

Apni tuning jamegi: Phase two (18 - 30 October) being the announcer, looked at creating awareness and the early pull.

Phase three: Aimed at the channel's proposition and reiterating the promise of the brand with a mix of programming specific advertising.

Phase four: Will focus on subscriber acquisition and viewership creation. This phase will move to total dedication of StarOne's programming line up.

Young and upscale audiences who are not home bound and perceived as a section who could relate to Dil Chahta Hai (the iconic metro movie) is clearly who this new-age channel wants to cater to. The prime catchment areas being Mumbai, Delhi, Pune and Kolkata, Star also made some initial inroads into non-Hindi speaking markets like Bangalore and Hyderabad.

Speaking to indiantelevision.com on the same, Lowe's senior VP Sabyasachi Mishra elucidates, "StarOne is possibly the first serious branding effort in the mainstream channel category. Most off-air brand communication for channels tend to be purely informational – after all that’s what drives traffic. Our take was that alongside show communication, there was also a bigger opportunity in pitching the channel as a brand ‘that stood for something other than its content’. So we evolved a communication architecture that builds both - Brand and Traffic. This thinking came about from our client’s business imperative. The current ‘Switchheads’ campaign is the first in a series of such efforts.”



The creative derived from the theme, "TV se tuned off," saw in the teaser phase a young man who is seen in a critical condition. The doctors all in a state of panic seem to be searching for the right channel match instead of the right blood match. Cut to tuning of channels and the focus on the patient's hand. The head doctor walks in and is informed no channel seems to working on the patient. It closes with the doctor saying, " Wait till November 1."

The unveiling of the channel showed a montage of the previous ad, cut to the patient zooming in on his hand. The doctors doing a channel scan suddenly hit upon StarOne. Immediate movement and response is observed in the patient. "Channel match found."

The same concept, the other TVC is set at the patient's home. He is watching StarOne with his hand all numb. The doctors enter and see some movement in the patient. The patients hand is placed on the popcorn, and in two seconds, the patient grabs some popcorn and starts intently watching the channel.

The media plan for StarOne does a full circle with the use of extensive life-size hoardings, frequent airs of the TVC across the niche Star channels, tie ups with the top radio stations in each city, modified copy on all top publications, tie ups with multiplexes and human figures distributing pamphlets across strategic locations.

Phase three and phase four that kick off end of this month will see more innovations on the same.

"Creatively, we have used metaphors as the route. ‘Matching blood type’ in the case of the TVC. ‘Switches’ for the off-air teasers. We thought it’s a nice way to depict people who are not getting it from their current programming. The entire campaign is wrapped up through the central strap: Apni Tuning Jamegi,” says Lowe group creative director Amer Jaleel.

Calling themselves main stream popular entertainment, StarOne does seem to have an initial advantage coming from the Star Network. How all this heavy duty advertising-markerting glitz actually translates into luring non-TV viewers and actually increasing the TV viewing pie will be unfolded only post-1 November.

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