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Star Plus reinvents; wears new look

MUMBAI: Ten years ago, Star Plus went all-Hindi to give rise to a new wave of ground-breaking shows that redefined the programming strategy for Hindi general entertainment channels. The flagship channel from the Star stable sketched out the Indian society, with almost universal acceptance, through the saans-bahu sagas and the most popular KBC.


However, a decade later, the society narrated a different story catapulting the need to bring in refreshed communication for the changing viewership preference.


And reading the notes right, Star Plus is now ready to hurl a refreshed and brand new identity to feed the audience needs for the next 10 years.


The channel will launch its new brand logo, dressed in the new-fangled tagline ‘Rishte Wahi, Soch Nayi (Old relationship, New thinking)’ on 13 June with the Star Parivaar Awards 2010.
 
When one is successful for so long a period, it becomes difficult to transform. And, Star Plus had been holding on to the fort for too long to think change.


Said Star India CEO Uday Shankar, “When we began, there were about 20-30 cable and satellite towns. But as next generation viewers stepped in and sensibilities changed, it became a 500-600 city phenomenon. The universe of viewership became heterogeneous and last year, when we lost our number one spot it was a wake up call.”


To begin experimenting and to understand the change in viewership patterns, Star Plus flagged off shows like Bidayi and Yeh Rishta, which went on to grab good eyeballs. “The impact was good but perhaps not as bold,” averred Shankar. And then came Aap Ki Kachehri followed by Sach Ka Saamna.
 
“With the success of such formats, we realised that viewers were ready for change and that led us to head for a comprehensive reinvention of Star Plus that would define our portfolio for the Indian family 2010 for the next ten years,” explained Shankar.


But to let viewers know about the renewed Star Plus and the coming change in the programming portfolio, the packaging also had to have a rejuvenated touch.


“And thus, we opted for the cosmetic change with the ruby star that represented the heart of India - feminine, strong, full of energy and life. The white hot swoosh, lit from within, represents inner strength and quest for fulfillment. A key component of the Star Plus identity is the colour red. Nothing epitomizes India better than the color red. Red is the color of prosperity, optimism, weddings, celebration, hope, desire, purity, passion, love and holiness. The Star Plus logo is the traditional and familiar star emblem infused with a very modern, fresh and energetic expression,” Shankar explained.


The new logo has been designed by UK-based Venture 3 while Ogilvy and Mather is the creative agency.
 
The new look with be followed by a line up of new shows like Tere Liye, Chand Chchupa Badal Mein and the Akshay-Kumar hosted cookery show, Masterchef India. The channel will also expand the line up with a variety of new-age movies like My Name Is Khan.


“Today, while the channel loyalties are fading, programme loyalties are rising high. So, we will be bringing in shows that have a definite lifetime and we will not be aggressive with the life of that show,” he said.


“This is because we don’t want to sustain on one or two shows and see hikes in viewership in bits and pieces. We want to build continuity in sustaining viewership,” he added.


The channel has spent approximately $4 million for the complete overhaul and will be marketing the new look aggressively across the Star Network. This will be apart from the other traditional platforms like print, radio and out-of-home.


Star had lost its leadership to Viacom18’s Colors last year and then the fight for the top slot was almost a weekly phenomenon. But this year, when IPL was almost a common cause for channels to witness fluctuations in their GRP grades, Star Plus took on to the numero uno spot and has been holding on to it till date.


“Our strategy was to take on IPL as a challenge and not duck it. Therefore, we build new story lines during the IPL period and got in new shows too. This helped,” Shankar said.
 

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