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Zee 24 Taas repositions itself as youth centric

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MUMBAI: It is not just politicians who are looking to grab the attention of India’s large young population. News channels too are reorienting their programming to enhance receptivity among the younger lot.

A few months ago, Zee Media Corporation’s (ZMCL) national Hindi news channel Zee News introduced its campaign ‘Ab Khabar Aapke Rangon Mein’ targeting the Gen Y of the country. Now, it’s the turn of Zee Media’s Marathi news channel Zee 24 Taas.

Starting today, the channel is on air with a complete makeover to its look, feel and positioning as well. With an improved tagline ‘Raha ek paul pudhe’ (stay one step ahead), Zee 24 Taas is repositioning itself to suit an audience of 15 to 45 years as compared to its earlier target group of 25 to 45 years.

Nearly half of India’s population is in the age group of 15 to 45 years. ZMCL CEO Alok Agrawal says, “With the advent of digitations, researches have shown that viewers are setting up new priorities; therefore it has become imperative to refurbish the brand. Backed by Zee Media Corporation Limited’s core philosophy to innovate in order to stay ahead, the new look of Zee 24 Taas is a step in the right direction. We are confident that the new identity will be applauded by the viewer which is rich in content and vibrant in look.” 

“The positioning is ‘action oriented’ because that is what the youth is interested in today. Rather than focusing on long news and discussions, we are keeping it short with more visuals. The youth wants to know how the news will benefit them in their lives,” says Zee 24 Taas business head Bhushan Khot.

Over the weekend, a series of programs under the tagline will be introduced to help youngsters know about how to move up in life. An election show began last week called Whats Up India to understand the younger generation’s perspective. Major colleges in Maharashtra are being visited for the show.

There is increased competition among news channels. News consumption in Maharashtra also happens in English and Hindi. “Today our competition is not just restricted to Marathi language (news channels) but the overall news genre. Our aim is to make the entire channel strong onscreen as well as digital and at the same time reflect the aspirations of the young Marathi audience,” says Khot.

Additionally, viewers can also catch Zee 24 Taas live on their mobile phones via Android, iOS and Blackberry apps through Ditto TV. Zee 24 Taas will later become a subscription services, after initial free preview for a month.

Zee 24 Taas has refurbished its studio and a stylist has been hired to give new looks to its anchors in addition to requisite training. The online and offline graphics have also been modified by an inhouse team. Zee 24 Taas editor-in-chief Uday Nirgudkar says, “We are re-launching the channel to fine tune our self to reflect on the changing needs of viewers. We have always been viewer focused & viewer centric hence our new offering will be more qualitative and focused.”

“We are trying to tell the audience that the language is Marathi but its look and feel is at par with any other channel,” adds Khot. The language the anchors use will also undergo a slight change with shorter sentences being the goal.

The marketing campaign to promote the new look will break across the state on 6 February, with print and outdoor and followed up on radio and TV next week.

Print ads will be visible in the newspapers DNA , Loksatta, Mumbai Times, Lokmat, Sakaal and others. On the digital front, banners and text ads will be seen on Google display network sites and Facebook.

The promotional jingle for TV and radio has been composed by noted Marathi singer and writer Saleel Kulkarni. The 20-day long campaign created by Draftfcb Ulka will see about 150 outdoor spots being adorned, with most of them being bus shelters, bus panels and hoardings in Mumbai, Pune and Nashik. The radio jingle will run across Radio City 91.1 FM, Radio Mirchi 98.3 FM, Red FM 93.5 and Big 92.7 FM.

Sources say the cost of the entire rebranding exercise would be approximately Rs 15 million with nearly 80 per cent of it being spent on marketing itself.

For the third quarter ended 31 December 2013, the channel had a viewership of 21.3 million (Source: TAM, CS 4+, All India, Q3 Average Monthly Reach).

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