Channel V will be Bloody Cool by this weekend, with a complete change in the channel graphics, looks and packaging. What has started is a mass marketing drive to announce the new improved Channel V and sources claim that about Rs 5 crore is being spent for the exercise.
While on the one hand the channel had to promote its new look, on the other hand, the driver show, Exhausted, needed a suitable launch pad. About 75 per cent of the marketing budget will go into the promotion of the big ticket reality show, which is an Endemol format.
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"This activity will be carried out as a run up to the launch of the all new Channel V between August 20-22 across malls, colleges, multiplexes and may be even railway stations," says Prem Kamath, senior vice-president and general manager, STAR India.
Online, there will be viral campaigns which will be made to look like MMS clips posted on social networking sites and youth portals. The channel has tied up with an agency called Rocket Talk, which will send out promos and reminders to a database of audiences on mobile.
The channel's website has been changed from vindia.com to channelv.in. "It won't be entirely Channel V on the Internet (in fact that will comprise only 10 per cent of online content) but customised content on various topics such as relationships, grooming, styling, and peer group that dominate the website," Kamath says.
There will be outdoor activations in Kolkata and Bengaluru, where in an 'Ex-house-ted' van will travel to high visibility areas, starting this week. The van is built such that two participants can play the game, just like the show and undergo tasks to see who can stand the test of exhaustion.
In Mumbai, there will be 'bean bag squatters' who will be seen sitting at one place for 48 hours, with their T-shirts reading 'I'm auditioning for Exhausted'. Channel V has partnered Hindustan Times, Radio One and Fame Multiplexes for the campaign.
About the new packaging of the channel, Sheetal Sudhir, creative director, Channel V, says that the heritage of the channel has been preserved and characters such as Simpu, Santa Banta and Bai will continue. "We wanted to re-invent the Bai, who literally holds the channel together, and introduce her brother Bhai," she says. About the need for changing the packaging, she says that the Indian graphics and lingo had become irreverent and there was a need to speak the language of the youth.
As a channel, Kamath says, there was a need to go beyond the realms of music as the audience was expecting more and the consumption of music on television has reduced drastically. "We are starting the year with six new shows and going further, will have at least 3-4 new shows every year," he says, adding that he still expects music to deliver around 60 per cent of the GRPs.