Are programme promos on television dispensable?

By , agencyfaqs! | In | February 25, 2003
A recent study by the TAM S-Group shows how programme promos can make or break a new programme on television

Are programme promos on television dispensable? Or should they be stretched long to generate trials (walk-ins) for these new programmes?

These are more such questions are analysed in a recent paper by the TAM S-Group (a specialist media strategy cell within TAM), which took up the study in view of the rash of new programming, and therefore promos, on general mass entertainment channels in recent times. The study concludes, with the increasing fragmentation of viewership, on-air programme promotions are key to generating awareness, and consequently, viewership.

The study focused on programme launches on top Hindi entertainment channels. The three channels studied were ZEE, Sony and STAR, and the programmes considered were Kitty Party and Kammal on ZEE, Bachke Rehnaa, Meri Biwi Wonderful, Devi and Kahaani Terrii Merrii on Sony, and STAR's Kabhi Aaye Naa Judayee, Shararat and Kashmeer (Figure 1).

The promo plans were analysed on the following parameters:

How many people did the promo plan talk to?

How many times on an average did it remind viewers of the new programme?

How much viewership did the promo plan garner?

What was the length of the promo communication?

As Figure 2 shows, STAR Plus tops the charts in terms of the weight of its promo plan across the three launches. The weight of promo plan for Kahaani Terrii Merrii is indicative of the latest trend in promo planning. With the options available to viewers increasing manifold, it has become imperative for channels to ensure that they talk to the prospective viewers "enough" number of times.

A quick look at the average promo duration (Figure 3) for these programmes show that promos on STAR Plus are the longest. Does that mean that higher the promo time easier it is to drive home the point? Perhaps.

To ensure sufficient walk-ins to the programme at the launch phase, it becomes imperative for channels to maintain a relatively high share of voice than competition. This would at least ensure that viewers who remember the promo communication would walk in once to sample the programme. A look at the average OTS (opportunity to see) delivered in Figure 4 shows something quite scary! Kashmeer promos were hammered into the viewer almost 20 times on an average. The OTS for Kitty Party was 5.3 and that of Kahaani Terrii Merrii was 8.3.

The question is, if all programmes were promoted in exactly the same manner as every other, would all programmes have similar walk-ins? The answer is an emphatic no, and the reason can be explained with a simple analogy. If a Colgate competitor were to make ads exactly as Colgate does and spend the same amount on media, will it get Colgate's market share? No! It would have to do something more dramatic, more innovative and carry more media weight.

As the TAM study sums up, "It will be unfair and naive to attribute successful programme launches to any single factor. In reality, a combination of variables, along with important qualitative factors ultimately decide which button on the remote the viewer will press." © 2003 agencyfaqs!

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