When broadcasters STAR News (Hindi), Sahara Samay and Headlines Today (from the India Today group) were rapidly creasing out last minute formalities in their bid to be there first, NDTV was putting together a high voltage marketing plan. From charting out its promotion strategy to roping in AR Rahman to score the background music for NDTV India - to be top-of-mind is of greatest concern for the production-house-turned-broadcaster. Even before its news channels have made their debut, NDTV has supposedly signed up advertising worth over Rs 10-12 crore for both NDTV 24x7 (the English channel) and the NDTV India (the Hindi channel). Also, key sponsorships, such as the prime time properties (9.00 pm news) are clean sold out.
The channel is leveraging the run up time to create a pan India awareness for the two channels. It is not as if its English channel would require a formal introduction. All the well known faces on STAR News till recently - including Rajdeep Sardesai, Barkha Dutt, Vikram Chandra - would continue their job on the NDTV channels. Having the content team intact is no doubt a big plus. Now, NDTV plans to launch an estimated Rs 10-crore marketing campaign for its channels - with a different theme for English and Hindi - cross 60-70 cities.
To reach every small town in India, NDTV will leverage its distribution platform One Alliance for cross promotions, and take prominent positions in national dailies, vernacular, magazines and radio to enhance brand recall. The Hindi campaign revolves around the theme of 'Khabar wohi jo sach dikhaaye' (news that only shows you the truth). The objective is quite clear: To build a strong association of the Hindi channel with the masses through a simple message of truth and credibility.
Besides, NDTV will draw audiences through its style of news presentation - which would be from 'the heart of India'. In other words, while "NDTV India will target the masses using the common man's language, the news presentation of NDTV 24x7 will look at endearing itself to the classes". To this end, NDTV has roped in composer AR Rahman to compose the background score for the Hindi channel and David Lowe for the English one.
NDTV English is also enjoying its due share of publicity. Sporting the slug line 'Experience Truth first' and reinforcing NDTV's association with credibility, the first hoarding for 24x7 is already up in Mumbai. The communication strategy for the channel is "to highlight the vitality, credibility and the commitment of the NDTV team", points out an insider. The channel is supposed to have booked over 800 hoardings across the country for both its channels.
Later today, Dr Prannoy Roy, president, NDTV, will address a multi-city press conference that will be broadcast live on NDTV test signals. This apparently, is the first of its kind in the country.
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