O&M Mumbai bags creative duties of two DirecTV packages for South Asians in US

MUMBAI: Ogilvy & Mather, which has long managed the creative duties of most of the Star India channels, is taking some of that expertise to the US.

O&M Mumbai has been mandated to handle the creatives of the News Corp-owned DirecTV platform's HindiDirect and CricketTicket packages, which essentially cater to the large ethnic South Asian community in the US. The online promotions will be handled by OgilvyOne and the mandate includes both online media and creative duties. OgilvyOne will handle creative and WPP owned Group M's mOne will handle online media buying and planning. (In the US, BBDO New York is the creative agency for DirecTV.)



An ad brandishing the Star channels on DirecTV featured on Rediff

HindiDirect features Star One, Star Plus and Star News and the CricketTicket package, which is a part of the DirecTV WorldDirect service, will have 180 days of live international cricket from around the world. DirectTV has exclusive rights to some of the tours that involve countries like Australia, New Zealand, Zimbabwe, West Indies, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, South Africa and England.

The CricketTicket proposition featured on

The other Indian channels that are available on DirecTV are Star Vijay, Aastha Channel, ETV Gujarati, ETV Bangla and ETV Telugu. DirecTV's biggest rival in the US is EchoStar, which beams the various Zee channels and Sony.



O&M Mumbai's directive is to provide communication on two parallel platforms: (i) Hardcore information on various packages that DirecTV has to offer, and (ii) Driving the packaging through the content provided by the various channels. A mass media and online campaign for the same has recently been rolled out in the US.

Speaking exclusively to from the US, DirecTV senior manager international programming Anu Babber says, "We are looking at tapping the South Asian community in the US in a big way and we felt that since O&M Mumbai handles some of the Star Group channels in India, they would be most suitable as our agency as they understand the brand and the Indian consumer very well."



Babber further said that the initial promotions have already been rolled out in various media such as the print, outdoor, radio and Internet. Television too would be looked at, but at a later stage.

Commenting on the "account win", O&M Mumbai business director Meenakshi Bhalla says, "We were approached by DirecTV because they felt that we would be rightly suited as we work on the entertainment category in India. Also, as we handle Star Plus in India we understand the brand well."

OgilvyOne vice president and chief technology officer Prasanth Mohanachandran elaborates, "Our task is twofold --- firstly, to convince people to shift to DTH from cable and secondly, to convince people to shift from existing DTH platforms to DirecTV."

He further added, "OgilvyOne has invested in research around the NRI (non resident Indian) and his/her online habits to help address the need to market to this base. It's our strong belief that Indian agencies are best placed to understand and market to this base and Ogilvy, India serves this need. Also interesting is that the media mix, for marketing to the NRI, has always had a leaning towards the online media primarily because of the targetting offered, the lower costs and the high return on media investment."

With this move, DirecTV plans to strengthen the Star brand in the US, where people still look at Zee TV as the number one channel. The initial campaigns will be programme specific, which kick-started with the launch of Miilee. Consequently, new shows launched on the channels will also be promoted.

DirecTV was launched in 1994 and was the first entertainment service in the US to deliver all digital-quality, multi-channel TV programming to an 18-inch satellite dish. It provides over 225 channels and delivers local television stations reaching more than 93 per cent of US television households. DirecTV is a unit of Hughes Electronics. Rupert Murdoch's Fox has a 34 per cent stake in the company.

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