HUL repeats roadblock on Star channels

MUMBAI: FMCG major Hindustan Unilever (HUL) is once again hosting a roadblock across all the Star network channels.

The ad exclusivity on the Star channels will be on 29 October. Lux will occupy centre stage, replacing Lifebuoy that HUL promoted last time.

Unlike last time, the HUL brands will also block out other ads on Star‘s south-language channels including Asianet.

"HUL will pack its 20 brands in this roadblock strategy. The payout to Star could be around Rs 80-90 million," a source tells

Earlier, HUL had also conducted a similar roadblock across 25 Zee Network channels. Though approached, Zee did not want to upset its other advertising clients.

Says Zee Entertainment Enterprises chief revenue officer Joy Chakraborty, "We were approached by HUL this time as well. We are open to the concept of roadblock advertising, but do not agree to have it on a monthly frequency as it would upset our other clients. We see it as a good strategy only on a quarterly basis."

In a recession-hit market when advertisers are heavily cautious on their spends, conducting roadblocks seems to be the new innovation to gain optimum brand exposure. For the broadcasters, it also provides an excellent opportunity to bring in advertising premium.

HUL had blocked advertising on Star and Zee network channels in September this year.

MTV had also conducted a similar roadblock with Bingo on 1 April and with Cadbury on 1 July.

Avers MTV India GM and SVP content and creative Ashish Patil, “MTV has been doing these stunts since 2003. We do not just roadblock but also create content to support the brands."

Elaborating further, he says, "On 1 July, we did the stunt with Cadbury, where we also created two promos for them with the theme ‘khush hai jamana aaj pahli tarikh hai’. The entire day was branded as ‘pay day’ on MTV. Cadbury even used our promos on other channels.”

Earlier, in 2007, Hutch had conducted a network roadblock on Star to introduce its brand change to Vodafone.

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