NDTV's effort is noteworthy: media planners' verdict

NDTV's Jai Jawan with Aamir Khan has definitely created some interest in the media. So has Zee TV‘s Independence Day special film The Hero (Its Thursday premiere has been specially shifted to Friday to coincide with the I-Day). The rest, it seems, have not evoked enough appeal.

The team posed some questions to the representatives and spokespeople of advertising/media agencies. We present few reactions that indicate the kind of response that TV channel ad sales teams have managed to get for their I-Day offerings.

While playing a devil‘s advocate, Optimum Media Solutions senior VP Amit Ray says, "When everybody innovates it cannot be termed as innovation. Yes, the Aamir Khan programme Jai Jawan is unique. But most others are the same old ghisa pita ‘innovation‘. Personally speaking, buying any special event is a waste of money as there is no evidence that advertising during I-Day gets one either more audience or greater recall or both."

WPP Media‘s director Sanjoy Chakrabarty agrees, "Channels are primarily offering movies that have been packaged differently. No one has come out with tailor made programming concept (except NDTV)!"

According to MindShare‘s Amol Dighe says, "We have not bought any special offering for 15 August. Yes, channels like Zee are offering creative programmes such as the screening of The Hero."

Most agencies opined that the programmes are uncreative and most channels have just chosen the easy way out by telecasting movies. Madison Media‘s client services director Neelkamal Sharma says, "To the best of my knowledge, most of the channels are showing special movies on I-Day. These specials could either be big blockbuster or movies revolving around freedom struggles and patriotism or armed forces . Apart from this, there could be some greetings for the day and may be, some cosmetic changes visually in some anchor-based shows."

MediaCom‘s media planning director Jyoti Bansal doesn‘t agree that the shows are drab. But she says, "Well, channels have come out with some interesting stuff but we haven‘t really bought anything in special for my set of clients."

MediaCom associate media director (buying) Gracy Fernandes however adds that her clients are advertising in NDTV‘s Jai Jawan.

According to Starcom general manager (Investments and New Initiatives) Manish Porwal, southern channels seem to have done a better job for the I-Day special. "The nationalism plank seems be getting less of a hearing from clients and accordingly from media owners. As it is, the I-Day branding and other such propositions haven‘t really been explored by any channels except south and other regional channels. NDTV has come up with the Aamir proposition and several general entertainment and movie channels have looked at packaging movies in the month. However, it has by and large been the print community which has better explored the event and special advertising around it. No, we haven‘t specifically and strategically bought around the I-Day."

Newly joined Starcom media director Srikanth Raman also echoes the above views and says that his team hasn‘t done anything specific for the day.

Some like Zenith Media India‘s media director SA Shetty however, vouch for the channels. Shetty says some channels such as Sony Entertainment Television have come up with innovative fare and should be applauded for it.

Part of the Lowe group in India, Initiative Media‘s media director Anita Kotwani says: "Jai Jawan on NDTV and the Zee TV movies package have been bought for our brands for Independence Day."

Kotwani add, "Some of the interesting offerings from various channels for 15 August include:

1) The Jai Jawan special on NDTV with Aamir and Barkha Dutt.

2) Spot Buy association package on Zee TV with five titles The Hero/Gadar/Legend of Bhagat Singh/Krantiveer/ Tirangaa.

3) Raj TV has ‘Independence Day Mega Movies‘ while Jaya TV has special programming on that day with movies/interviews of film personalities

4) Zee MGM has a 11 am to 1 am fete of movies with titles like Birthday Girl/Serendipity amongst others

5) CCC has an Independence Day special with three titles Vijeta, Haqeeqat / Major Saab."

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