India's fiasco at the ICC World Cup, general entertainment channel SAB has seemingly pulled up its socks. The channel has launched a brand campaign revolving around the concept of 'New India', in order to usher in its next batch of fiction shows in lieu of the World Cup. Since SET India took over the channel in 2005, this is the second time SAB is revamping its brand positioning. So, what prompted this re-launch?
SAB gave these two shows, along with others such as 'FIR' and 'Yes Boss', a season break when it won the rights for the World Cup. Come April 30, these shows will be back for their respective second seasons. The channel also plans to release two new shows, 'Love Story' (a la 'Gangster' on the small screen) and 'Rockstars' (a journey of four friends), on the same day. These two will be Monday-Friday primetime shows.
To bring about its programming changes, SAB has launched a campaign conceived by Leo Burnett, which addresses the demographic and psychographic aspects of 'New India'. The campaign has been titled 'Mera Bharat Jawaan', which, according to Bahl, is symbolic of the demographic reality that the youth comprise 60 per cent of India. The second leg to the campaign, titled 'Buddha Hoga Tera Baap', is reflective of the psychographic mindset of being young at heart. A TVC and outdoor campaign for the latter have already been launched. The commercial shows young boys referring to a middle-aged man as 'buddhha khoosat' (old nag), to which the man responds angrily, "Buddha hoga tera baap (Who are you calling old? If anyone is old, it is your dad)!" The dad, standing nearby, overhears this and repeats the words to the other man. A vicious cycle follows, with each one accusing the other of being old, and denying their own age.
The campaign is deliberately tongue-in-cheek and irreverent, to add to the whole 'funky youth' feel.
The second phase of the campaign will be more programming specific, announcing the second season of SAB's old shows as well as the launch of its new ones. Bahl feels the brand campaign is reflective of a progressive India, and also the channel's progressive programming.
It is obvious that SAB had to launch this campaign now, post India's no-show at the ICC World Cup, as it needed to speedily put things back in place. However, Bahl insists that the timing of the campaign has nothing whatsoever to do with Team India's collapse. "The World Cup has, in fact, helped us increase our distribution by 25 per cent so far," he says, "which will even help us secure eyeballs for sampling our new programming mix."
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