The least one can do when there is a yawning gap between the No 1 and oneself is to try and narrow it down. So believes Sony Entertainment Television (SET). The Hindi general entertainment channel, which is second to STAR Plus by a huge margin, has a clear-cut strategy this year - "to build stronger domination for the No 2 position and reduce the difference between Nos 1 and 2".
If this sounds clichéd, what is important to note is that the channel has a three-pronged strategy to achieve it - refresh prime-time programming, adopt seasonal approach to products (programmes), and back it with aggressive marketing.
These efforts, in turn, will be directed at the "significant target audience" of women and men in the age group of 25-34 years across socio-economic classes of ABC. "This particular target audience accounts for 22 per cent of general entertainment viewing," says Sunil Lulla, executive vice-president, SET. "Sixty seven per cent of their TV viewing is during prime time," he adds.
If one argues that to refresh programming especially during prime time is crucial to the survival of a channel - more so for a mass channel - for Sony it marks a shift in the strategy pursued so far. "The seasonal approach to launching programmes is common abroad," justifies Lulla. "We will go by the different seasons in a year to showcase our products," he says, implying also that the turnaround time for programmes is that much faster. "Sony wants to connect with its viewers," explains Anupama Mandloi, director, on-air programming, Sony Entertainment Television. "You just can't launch a programme and wait for your audience," she adds.
The channel will move towards "driving the Sony proposition" through the tag line "Are you ready for Sony?". The multi-media campaign will play around the words giving it a feel relevant to a programme. So musical game show, Kuch Kehti Hai Yeh Dhun to be launched on April 28 at 8.30 pm and featuring pop star Raageshwari, will go by the tag line 'Are you ready to hum along?', while Sambhav Asambhav, a family drama set against the backdrop of reincarnation and to be launched on May 1 at 8.30 pm, will announce 'Are you ready for the unknown?'. "We are keen on differentiation in content and marketing," emphasises Lulla.
Other shows to be launched during the summer season (April-June) include Ab Ayega Mazzaa, an interactive response show (April 28 at 8.00 pm), Crime Patrol, a reality show (May 9 at 10.30 pm), Naam Gum Jayega, a gripping drama about two girls who change their identities and religion, and a revitalised Boogie Woogie, which will be launched with a new look and format on May 28 at 8.00 pm.
Parallely, the channel has launched Shiksha, an educational initiative in association with Proctor & Gamble. It aims to finance the education of children through a simple process - purchase a P&G product, scratch the card on the reverse side and watch Kkusum at 9.00 pm everyday through April and June for the announcement of the lucky numbers. "We will associate with initiatives relevant to the people," says Mandloi. "Kkusum was selected because it is a popular programme on Sony," she adds. Â© 2003 agencyfaqs!