Geared to enter its next phase of growth, Sab TV, the family comedy channel from the MSM stable, is ready to change its creative hands too.
The channel is on the lookout for a new creative partner, choosing to mutually part ways with its two-and-a-half-year-long creative agency, Pickle Lintas. The fresh creative-partner-scouting-move that will begin immediately will not witness Pickle Lintas combating for the same win once again.
For the record, OMD India is the media agency for all channels within the MSM stable. Prior to Pickle, SAB was handled by Leo Burnett India.
"We are currently inviting pitches and we plan to lock the new association in a couple of weeks," informs SAB's executive vice-president and business head, Anooj Kapoor.
As reported earlier on afaqs!, the channel, that until now has been running on tight budgets, has decided to increase its spends across programming, marketing and distribution, in a bid to scale up its audience base. The channel witnessed an almost 500 per cent growth in audience viewership since the time it decided to go back to family comedy in June 2008.
While the channel has been present across various Big Bazaar outlets, multiplexes, gyms and restaurants to capture eyeballs, it has also taken the radio route through its integrated content property, Sab Ke Damaadji.
And now, even as it hunts for a new creative partner, Sab TV's positioning as the family comedy channel will remain undiluted while scouting for fresh creative ideas.
Sab TV is a story of change - and more change. Launched in 2000, in the comedy genre, by Sri Adhikari Brothers, SAB became a part of MSM in 2005 (reports put the cost of the acquisition at close to Rs 60 crore) and was repositioned as regular second-rung GEC within the network.
However, that avatar did not go down well with the consumers and therefore, it decided to take a sharper focus and repositioned itself as a youth entertainment channel.
While the youth positioning did manage to pull off a few good shows like Left Right Left and Love Story, MSM decided to replace them and show cricket on SAB in 2007, in order to improve reach and distribution.
Unfortunately, that did not work well. Going back to the earlier serials, too, didn't help. The channel also realised that if it continued to play in the youth space, it would be limiting because the youth had multiple entertainment options and most of them were out of home.
And then in late 2007, it decided to go back to being a comedy channel since people still associated SAB as a comedy channel. MSM also knew that it could not depend on its earlier viewership profile - a 70 per cent male audience, and it was critical to get women to watch their serials, rather than the soaps that they were addicted to. And that is how the comedy soaps came into being.