From September 1, SETMAX, the movies, cricket and events channel from Sony Entertainment Television has a new base line - Deewana Bana De. Appearing across advertising, promotional and programming material, the new line, to quote an official communiqué, aims to "encompass all the excitement, cricket action, passion and entertainment that MAX has to offer". The new positioning of Deewana Bana De is a radical departure from the channel's earlier stance summed up by a single sentence in English 'Where your heroes belong'.
Explaining the rationale behind 'Deewana Bana De', Rajat Jain, executive vice-president and business head, MAX, says, "Being more than two years old and operating in a domain where big cricket and big movies is really the key driver, the task for us was to possess the viewer, fascinate him or her and make them a complete deewana (crazy about the channel) in the process. The idea was to capture the viewer experience more than anything else."
Agrees Suman Srivastava, chief strategy officer, EuroRSCG, the agency behind the new positioning exercise. "MAX has had a loose identity so far," he says. "The aim of this exercise is to define the channel better, which we felt could be emphasised through the common link between movies and cricket, namely passion. Most Indians are passionate about cricket and movies, which is offered by SETMAX, hence what better way to sum it up than 'Deewana Bana De'."
Incidentally, analysts view this positioning as a "deviation from standard sports promotion". It is aimed at getting the entire family to sample the product and not just hook the male member in the television home. "Traditionally, SETMAX has had a dual personality," states a Mumbai-based media planner. "With a concentration either around major sports events or Bollywood films. With the new positioning they are trying to give the channel a universal appeal and go one step beyond the usual fare of cricket and movies."
Besides concentrating on the core mix of 'big cricket and big movies' (MAX recently aired Hindi blockbuster Aks, featuring Amitabh Bachchan and Manoj Bajpai, and has the exclusive cable and satellite rights for the live telecast of the ICC cricket tournaments for the next six years beginning with the Champions Trophy in Sri Lanka this month), the channel is also focusing on 'unique programming options' to catch the uninitiated or casual audience. Avers Jain, "MAX is not a movie or sports channel, but primarily an entertainment channel skewed towards cricket, movies and events. The avid cricket buff would tune in to our channel to watch the matches. However, it is the uninitiated or the causal viewer whom we need to target and give them something more than just plain cricket."
In keeping with this philosophy, the channel recently launched Kapil Dil Se (anchored by Kapil Dev and aired on Fridays at 8.30 pm) and Cricket Masala (anchored Ruby Bhatia and aired on Sundays at 8.30 pm) to spearhead its long-format shows. The former has the channel's brand ambassador Kapil Dev tracing the lives of cricketing heroes and the tete-a-tete is interspersed with capsules featuring Bollywood stars commenting on the sport. Cricket Masala, on the other hand, is a magazine show revolving around the week's news, views and hot gossip, aimed once again at drawing the 'uninitiated' by focusing on the 'glamour' aspect of the sport.
Interestingly, a breakup of the TVRs of these two shows indicates a strong male skew. For the first episode of Kapil Dil Se aired on August 16, 2002, the combined TVR among 15-years-plus males in C&S homes in the metros of Bangalore, Kolkata, Chennai, Delhi, Hyderabad and Mumbai was 0.2. For C&S females in the 15-years-plus age group it was 0.07. The second episode of Kapil Dil Se aired on August 23, 2002, saw a TVR score of 0.23 for C&S males and 0.07 for C&S females. On the other hand, the first episode of Cricket Masala aired on August 18, 2002, registered a TVR of 0.2 among male audiences and 0.06 for a female audience in the six metros of Bangalore, Kolkata, Chennai, Delhi, Hyderabad and Mumbai (source: TAM Media Research).
The channel however shows no signs of letting up. Besides its regular half-hour programmes, SETMAX has a slew of one-minute shows or short-format programmes (commonly called fillers) aimed at adding that much needed zing to its programming mix. These include Maiden Overs, where women from different walks of life express their opinions about cricket and cricketers; It's My Life that has cricketers talking about their interests other than the sport; Cricket Dil Se that has ordinary people talking about anything that interests them about the sport; Khiladi No.1 that comprises profiles of cricketers and Hum Kisise Se Kum Nahin that has cricket team profiles. "These fillers are a run-up to the World Cup and will be on air till February next year," claims Jain. "However, Khiladi No.1 and Hum Kisise Se Kum Nahin will keep changing with every tournament," he adds.
Moreover, with the Champions Trophy just round the corner (it will be played between September 12 and 29) SETMAX has plans to stretch the 'cricket experience' from eight hours to eleven hours'. "The additional three hours will be a seamless integration of cricket and entertainment aimed at targeting various segments of the population without touching the core of cricket, which is the live cricket match," emphasises Jain. "There is an opportunity to build properties around the matches and we are trying to capitalise on that," he adds. Â© 2002 agencyfaqs!
Kapil Dev is Sony Entertainment brand ambassador • SETMAX gets facelift; aims for top movie channel slot