Sony Picture Networks India rebrands AXN

MUMBAI: Sony Pictures Networks (SPN) India’s english entertainment channel AXN, known for its action heavy shows, has been re-branded to give it a more edgier look.

The changes include a new logo, packaging and tag line. Playing on their original palate of red, the channel urges viewers to live ‘R.E.D,’ which stands for Reality, Entertainment and Drama.

The channel, which is home to some of the most iconic characters, hopes to increase its viewership with this re-branding exercise.

The change will come into effect from 24 January, 2016 with the premiere of the drama series Billions, which will be aired at 11 pm every Sunday.

The re-branding was undertaken by Leo Burnett India.

“With the new logo, we want to cater to the young evolving mindsets. It’s time the brand goes to the next level with a more contemporary positioning and a fresh, new look, to appeal to the discerning audience segments, who seek intelligent action. More than just an adrenaline rush, they seek a mind rush while watching their favourite shows and characters. To cater to this mind-set, we have re-calibrated our positioning, brought alive through LIVE R.E.D. for the entire brand universe in a seamless manner,” says SPN India executive vice president and business head - English entertainment cluster Saurabh Yagnik.

With this transformation, AXN seeks to diversify its portfolio away from its action genre by airing ‘intelligent’ action shows with more intense, smart and unexpected characters.

The channel has retained its trademark representation with the colour red. He further adds, “Red because it leverages to bring alive what AXN as a brand stands for. The channel’s new look and feel showcases the content diversity of the channel, builds association with shows and characters and articulates what consumer gratification is. It is the channel, product and consumers’ truth that we have brought alive.”

The new logo is accentuated by a 3-D pyramid with elements of mystery and convergence and will bring alive the channel’s diverse content offering Reality, Entertainment, Drama, and the consumer gratification of Rush, Excitement, Dream through its characters and shows.

AXN’s content offering includes a mixture of reality shows like The Voice, Top Gear, Fear Factor, entertainment shows like Minute to Win, and dramatic shows like Sherlock, Hannibal, Ray Donovan, Billions, Elementary and Dexter, amongst others.

As of now, the channel has no plans to change or tweak its content strategy, though it will keep bringing new American shows. The channel will continue to cater to the premium target audience in India.

AXN seeks to cater to both types of consumers that exist in society: the influencer as well as the adopter. While the former includes tech-savvy people who want to watch shows with the US, the latter are not very active in the space and seek help from the influencer about which shows to watch. “The adopters are adopting and soaking into the genre. We want to bridge this gap between both the viewers’ cluster. We bring shows, which serves both of them,” asserts Yagnik.

The channel claims to have a market share of 28 per cent in the entire English entertainment genre and has set a task to build shows and characters associations with the channel.

AXN’s new look will roll out across the channel’s on-air and online platforms as well on various social media platforms.

Speaking about the imminent competition from the American OTT platform Netflix’s entry into India, Yagnik says, “It is good to have global competition in the space. It’s a good opportunity. The fact remains that all the networks have many hours of content - local as well as international. Everything that enters the market has its own plusses and minuses when it comes to content consumption. Ultimately it’s going to benefit the consumers.”

This new push towards evoking emotions as well as gaining viewers through gripping and diverse content strategy is what the edgy channel plans to do in 2016. The aim will also be to retain its position in the market by coming up with more credible and buzzy shows.

“With the rise in the Hollywood shows consumption in India, AXN will continue to get up to date shows for our fresh from the US slot,” concludes Yagnik.

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