STAR One, which is scheduled to be launched on November 1, has chalked out an aggressive marketing plan for promotions.
The budget is also huge with STAR India spending a couple of crores for marketing - which is at par with the STAR Plus' marketing budget.
The entire STAR One campaign has been planned in three phases. The first phase of the campaign was through teasers, which ran from October 4-17. The second phase of the communication, which started from October 18, will continue till the eve of the launch which is October 31. And in the third and last phase, scheduled to begin from November 1, STAR One will start the launch campaigns.
STAR One caters to an audience which is urban and belongs to the SEC A&B. And, it has been seen in the past that it is very difficult to convince this segment of consumers. The fact that this segment of viewers spends maximum time away from home is one plausible reason behind STAR One's decision to bet on on-ground activities. .
Ajay Vidyasagar, senior vice-president marketing and communication, STAR India, says, "To reach out to this segment of viewers, we tried to move out of home and found out important junctions, where they make frequent visits."
And, in the course of research, it was discovered that multiplexes and shopping malls are few such important junctions where potential STAR One viewers make frequent trips. This is the reason why STAR India is trying to reach out to them through on-ground activities and signages at different malls and multiplexes across six cities - Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Bangalore, Pune and Ahmedabad.
At different malls and multiplexes, guys and girls sporting switches on their foreheads and carrying placards with the message 'TV Se Tuned Off? Waiting For November 1' took out processions to create a curiosity around the channel.
In the second phase, STAR has initiated a similar activity; the only difference being the placards read a different message saying - 'November One Se Apni Tuning Jamegi - STAR One.'
To carry on these on-ground activities, STAR One has created 'One Zone' at different malls and high traffic zones in Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Bangalore. These 'One Zones' are full of fun activities where consumers get a chance to interact with the brand, say senior STAR officials.
Vidyasagar says, "At One Zone, we have created different games such as jigsaw puzzles, where the consumer needs to create the STAR One logo.
STAR One is leaving no outdoor space to reach out to its prospective viewers. Around 6,000 eateries and food stalls around offices in New Delhi and Mumbai will now have a STAR One umbrella.
For the day of the launch, STAR One has planned several activities around local trains (in Mumbai) and public transports in New Delhi. Vidysagar declined to reveal further, saying, "There is tough competition in the market and I fear that the idea will be copied."
Billboards, bus shelters and mobile vans are integral parts of the promotional campaign with almost 200 outdoor sites having been booked across four cities - Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata and Bangalore. For instance, in Mumbai, travelling between Santacruz Airport and Bandra, one will find 18 STAR One hoardings and the number of these hoardings keeps on increasing while moving towards the city.
Vidyasagar says, "While planning the outdoor media, we gave emphasis on owning the maximum number of clusters."
For instance, in Delhi, STAR One is putting up as many as 150 kiosks only around South Delhi.
Vidyasagar adds, "The prospective viewers of STAR One are also very Internet savvy, so the online medium is being widely used for promoting STAR One."
In terms of business and advertising, STAR One would compete with the English channels for advertising revenue as it will cater to the same niche viewer. Vidyasagar comments, "English channels lack appointment viewing, which essentially means that they do not have a consistent viewership. This results in confusing the advertisers. Hence, they are not sure of the return on the money invested. STAR One, in contrast, will have a consistent and regular viewership for all its programmes."
The creative for the STAR One campaigns has been done by Lowe. Explaining the campaign strategy, Sabyasachi Mishra, senior vice-president, Lowe says, "STAR One is possibly the first serious branding effort in the mainstream channel category. Most off-air brand communication for channels tend to be purely informational - after all that's what drives the traffic. Our take was that alongside show communications, there was also a bigger opportunity in pitching the channel as a brand 'that stood for something more than its content'. So we evolved a communication architecture that builds both - Brand and Traffic. The current 'Switchheads' campaign is the first in a series of such efforts."
Mishra adds, "The biggest challenge for us was to position STAR One as a brand for the discerning and at the same time not lose its 'mass relevance'. I think this mass-class paradox has been resolved smartly through our creative approach."
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