Bates India's Mumbai office has won the advertising account of STAR Gold, the Hindi movie channel of the Rupert Murdoch-owned STAR TV Network, following a three-way pitch involving STAR roster agency O&M and incumbent Publicis India. Confirming the news, Rajeev Raja, executive creative director, Bates India, said, "Yes, Bates has been appointed by STAR to create communication for STAR Gold." With this development, Bates replaces Publicis as the fifth agency in the STAR TV Network roster - the others being O&M (STAR Movies, STAR Plus), JWT India (ESPN STAR Sports, STAR News), ANC (CHannel [V]) and SSC&B (National Geographic).
This is, incidentally, the second time that STAR has assigned Bates with a communication project for one of its channels. It may be recalled that in early 2001, the agency had been entrusted with a 'special brand-building project' for STAR Plus' Kaun Banega Crorepati (KBC), at a time when the game show was peaking the popularity charts. And Raja partly attributes the STAR Gold win to the work Bates had done for KBC.
"We revolutionized advertising in the channel category, with the highly successful 'Nau Baj Gaye Kya?' campaign for KBC, which impressed the client immensely," he says. "I am sure that the work we presented for STAR Gold met the same standards. And I can say that it was the creative idea, which emanated from sound strategy, that got us this business." Raja, however, chooses to remain tightlipped about the communication, per se. "I can't reveal anything about the idea right now, but it will be out in the media very soon, so you'll see for yourself," he says.
Whatever the nature of the communication, the challenge for Bates clearly lies in creating a distinct positioning for the niche channel. In terms of brand image, STAR Gold needs an overhaul - for the simple reason that it currently doesn't have a well-defined personality. Which, of course, is partly true of most Hindi movie channels, where the brand personality of the holding company or the mother/flagship channel brand rubs onto the respective movie channels. "Movie channels draw from the image of the mother brand," Raja agrees. "The task is to create a personality that is different from the competition, and this can be achieved by doing things with the presentation of the channel, the channel's tone etc." The idea should be to rise above the category promise (Hindi movies) alone… in a manner that both MTV and CHannel [V] have achieved. Both channels are about music (the category promise), but both have personalities synonymous with 'cool', 'attitude' and whatnot.
But ultimately, it comes down to content. And programming, per se, is one area that STAR Gold has to look at seriously. The Hindi movie channel segment has been witnessing a lot of competition lately, with both Zee Movies (from Zee TV) and SETMAX (from Sony Entertainment Television) displaying a lot of newly found aggression. In fact, both channels (especially Zee Movies) have recently been upping the ante by airing mint-fresh fare from Bollywood. Add to that the competition from channels such as B4U Movies, CVO and general interest channels that also air Hindi movies…
"Whatever you do, the image and the numbers have to come from the content," Raja admits. "That is the proof of the pudding." So would Bates also be responsible for helping the channel in its programming mix? "As of now, we are only into the communication part," says Raja. "But we will share our ideas with STAR, a client that is open to new ideas. And depending on the feasibility of our recommendations, they would take the ideas forward." Â© 2002 agencyfaqs!