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Times Network launches campaign to promote its HD feed

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MUMBAI: Speaking of the digital era, the number of LCD television sets sold each year has only been growing. For 2015, an Ernst & Young study had projected that 12 million television LCD and LED sets would be sold in India, reinforcing the point on the CRT to LCD/LED conversion. But this same conversion is not reflected when it comes to consumers going from SD to HD feed, especially in the case of English Entertainment television channels. The issue, Times  Network English Entertainment Cluster senior VP and head Vivek Srivastava feels, is not in affordability but in awareness.

“HD channels’ have shown 93 per cent increase in viewership over the last year and doubled their advertisement revenues. But the one thing that remains a hiccup in the segment is the adoption rate of HD feed. It is estimated that 12 million HD enabled TV sets are sold every year but there are only 6 million HD subscribers. That means there are another 6 million who have the equipment but not the content pipeline.  There is immense growth potential. So both for us, we as a network and for the industry, there is a need to educate consumers on the perks of HD quality video. This campaign will benefit not only our own English cluster, but the entire industry,” explains Srivastava.

Times Network has initiated steps to educate its consumers with a 360  degree ad campaign that the network will launch starting today - 2 May. Given the fact that its core English Entertainment channels are mostly in HD, it makes sense for Times Network to propagate the cause for HD conversion in the country.  The campaign aims to push the HD subscription for its three HD English entertainment channels -- MN +, Movies Now and Romedy Now HD. “Across the globe the main drivers for HD viewership have been sports and movies. In India, while the sports genre has seen that positive change, movie entertainment channels are lagging behind. Being a major player in the English entertainment space with a huge movie library, it was in our interest to push this cause,” says Srivastava.

Created and conceptualised in-house in three months, a TVC that is a fun-take on how Hollywood is viewed in India, features actor Purab Kohli enjoying a home theatre experience at home in all its glory. The punch line  -- ‘Raise your standards to High Definition’ -- comes when the audience is made aware that all this luxury comes to a nought if the picture quality is not in high definition, thereby urging movie lovers to go HD. The campaign intends to play with the urban movie buffs minds that swear by their Hollywood movies and prefer a quality experience even at home.

“For the last three or four years, most of the HD TV commercials have spoken about the best quality and sound making one believe that all one needs to do to experience that is to buy the TV. But in reality that's just the first step; and getting the content pipeline by switching to HD feed is what completes the process,” said Srivastava as he reveals the idea behind the ad.

The campaign will be heavily promoted across networks, with heavy emphasis on television and a strong digital backing. The campaign will also see some presence on print. “With reach being the primary objective, we are trying to expand the number of eyeballs as much as possible, especially amongst the television audience. The campaign kicks off on our network and will be gradually carried across all channels on other networks as well. We will not necessarily promote it on English entertainment channels alone. Out of the 650 million (65 crore) television watchers, around 30 percent watch English content, so obviously there is an increased need to reach out to a cross section of audiences to propagate the message better. We will have a presence on Hindi GECs, movie channels, news channels. Even music channels are a part of our media plan mix.” The ‘across channels’ promotion will be carried in parts, while the campaign will be kept alive within the network.

While Srivastava agrees that the Times Network channels primary viewership comes from the metros, this particular campaign is targeted pan India. “The metros have some awareness about the HD feed, but it is the tier II and tier III cities that we really need to touch base with,” he further reveals.

Given the ‘all in’ nature of the campaign, Srivastava also reveals that the network is spending slightly higher than the marketing budget for a regular mainline premiere on Movies Now.

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