Rediffusion captures Zee's POW

By , agencyfaqs! | In | March 14, 2001
Zee TV has hired ex-KBC agency Rediffusion to handle the advertising for its new reality TV show, POW. But will reality TV work in India?

Rediffusion-DY&R has won the advertising business of POW, the new reality TV show from the Zee stable, following a three-way pitch that also involved R K Swamy/BBDO and Contract Advertising. Incidentally, R K Swamy and Contract are already Zee agencies, with the former handling Zee TV and Zee Cinema, and the latter servicing the Zee Alpha (regional language channels) business. Percept Advertising, which handles Zee News, was not in the pitch.

According to agencyfaqs! sources within Zee TV, although the official intimation of the appointment is yet to be sent across, Rediffusion shall, without doubt, be handling the POW account. Despite several attempts to get official confirmations from both Zee TV and Rediffusion, agencyfaqs! continuously drew blanks. While Zee officials were not traceable, an executive with Rediffusion, citing confidentiality, declined from adding anything to what agencyfaqs! had already gathered. And neither Arun Nanda nor Sandeep Goyal was available for comment.

However, a bit of snooping revealed that Rediffusion might have been awarded the POW account - estimated to be worth Rs 5 crore - on the basis of the work it had done for Star TV's Kaun Banega Crorepati (KBC). It may be recalled that Rediffusion had played a crucial role in putting KBC into orbit, but sometime in late January, Star had moved the KBC account to Bates for what Star termed "the brand-building phase". The KBC account too is estimated to be in the vicinity of Rs 5-6 crore.

"Zee appointing Rediffusion is an acknowledgement of the fact that the agency did a good job with KBC, which Zee unsuccessfully tried to rival with Sawaal Dus Crore Ka (SDCK)," says an account director with a Top 5 agency. "Now that it is getting into the virgin territory of reality TV, Zee is hoping that Rediff can rework the KBC magic."

Zee has a lot riding on POW. For one, the company is still nursing a bad SDCK hangover. Then, of course, rivals Star TV and Sony have stolen ahead in the ratings. And in the news and current affairs front, newcomer Aaj Tak has walked away with all the applause. "In some ways, this is a do-or-die situation for Zee," says an ex-Zee employee. "It knows it has to pull an ace, right here, right now."

But is reality TV the answer? Some would think so, considering reality TV is immensely popular in the West. However, India is a different dish altogether. As one media executive quips, "Kyon Ki Saas… is nothing but reality to the average Indian household. So why would someone in India want to watch 'reality' TV?" On a more serious note, AXN plans to scrap its celebrated Survivor show in India. Which certainly doesn't auger well for POW, which is modeled on the Jailbreak and Big Brother shows.

Whatever the case, Rediffusion has its task cut out. And agencyfaqs! has gathered that the agency has already started working on the account. But, in all probability, the teaser ads that are on air (and in print) are not Rediff's handiwork. "What you are seeing is too tacky a job for an agency of Rediffusion's stature," says one Zee executive, on conditions of anonymity. "I would presume these have been done in-house."

Here's hoping to see some really good work from Zee and Rediff.

© 2001 agencyfaqs!


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Bates snaps up KBC from Rediff >
Zee News on revamp mode >
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