AXN evolves marketing strategy for a bigger audience connect

MUMBAI: As the English GEC space grows with new players coming in, AXN is evolving its marketing efforts.

The focus is to expand the consumer connect with AXN‘s most popular international shows. "We have changed our media mix to interesting one-on-one interactions with our key stakeholders. We have linked all such activities with our key properties and targeted them differently with each programme," AXN business head Sunil Punjabi said.

The first initiative was the Supernatural Tweet-up event. “We launched season eight with a tweet-up event in four key metros and followed up a sustenance activity after two months with another six cities activation. This activation has had good response and we received queries from smaller cities like Chandigarh, Nashik, Nagpur, Indore, Jaipur among others to reach them,” Punjabi averred.

As ‘Top Chef’ has a larger appeal beyond the six metros, AXN decided to market the property not only in the four metros but also towns like Pune and Hyderabad, among others.

Another property is ‘The Voice’ and the fourth season has Shakira and Usher as judges. "We decided to use this as a peg for our next promotion activity. We launched the ‘Find yourself in LA’ on the sets of Voice where Shakira would be judging the battle rounds. Through this activation, we have connected to approximately 700 contestants across advertising agencies, clients and distribution,” Punjabi averred.

The Thrillionaire campaign that AXN kicked off in October is being run across the year. As AXN is celebrating its 15th year in India, the channel launched the ‘15 years of Thrill Campaign’ in October. This campaign will culminate this year. “So far the response to this activity across the year has been great and we hope to keep engaging with our viewers consistently,” Punjabi stated.

What is interesting is that AXN has partnered with Hindi films. The thinking, Punjabi said, was to Indianise the look of the channel. “We associated with relevant on-brand movie tie-ups like Special 26 with the launch of ‘Leverage’. ‘Leverage’ is all about the ‘Dons of the Cons’ and so was ‘Special 26’. With the right character fit, we have launched ‘Leverage’ on the channel with Akshay Kumar in Special 26.”

AXN will air two original productions, ‘Apprentice Asia’ and ‘Hannibal’, this year. “Our first set of activation for ‘Apprentice Asia’ happened during the call for entry phase. Statistically, India had a strong response. Two of the 10 contestant for ‘Apprentice Asia’ are Indians. Also, the host Tony Fernandes made news in the form of the Tata-Air Asia JV being formed for a low cost airline. Tony has successfully turned around the airline in Asia and has interest in multiple business including a soccer and F1 team," said Punjabi.

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