Airtel and STAR India ink media deal

By , agencyfaqs!, New Delhi | In Media Publishing | December 20, 2007
This is not the first time that STAR has come up with such a proposition - this is a mere extension of the idea that went behind giving spots to Vodafone for 24 hours on September 20 this year

First it & #BANNER1 & # was Vodafone, on September 20 this year, when with an aim of brand change, the fourth-largest telecom player was all over the STAR network for 24 hours, and now it is the telecom leader, Airtel, who has triggered off on the same lines. Airtel and STAR India have come together for a two year alliance, which is tailored to mutually benefit both the parties.

According to this partnership, Airtel will give in a committed advertising outlay to STAR for the next 24 months, and STAR will lend a privilege to Airtel of paying a mutually-negotiated rate with inflation protection. This agreement will enable both sides to jointly develop key properties to promote music across various audience segments. Customer interactivity programmes, driven by SMSs are on the charts. Airtel will be able to jointly create and provide inputs to the creation of specific properties for its customers, and will also involve STAR in the joint on-ground activities.

Uday Shankar
According to this deal, STAR will be the preferred destination for Airtel's media needs. Says, Uday Shankar, CEO, STAR India, "Through this partnership, Airtel wishes to cash on the credibility and penetration that STAR has. As for STAR, we think that there is a dearth of advertising solutions that need to take advertising just beyond playing a video tape. With our association with Vodafone prior to this deal, we have definitely set a trend in changing the metrics of the game, and go beyond simply media planning. STAR takes an obligation to meet the business needs of the client."

Shankar clarifies that Vodafone had paid an astronomical premium for the one-day show that they did for the re-branding purpose. The alliance with Airtel, however, is similarly, a highly beneficial plan, just for a long term, as compared to Vodafone. However, a differentiated rate chart would be offered for STAR's different channels in the bouquet. Airtel will have access to advertise across all of the channels that STAR currently broadcast in India, which include, STAR Plus, STAR Gold, STAR One, Channel [V], STAR Utsav, STAR Vijay, STAR World and STAR Movies.

Gopal Vittal, director, marketing and communications, Airtel, says, " In a cluttered and fragmented media environment, this alignment with a leading broadcaster such as STAR to add tremendous value to the Airtel brand. Our agreement with STAR will give us the opportunity to build properties from the cradle, synergistic with Airtel's brand vision."

Bharti Airtel has an aggregate of 55.09 million customers as of end of November 2007, consisting of 52.96 million mobile customers.

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