N. Shatrujeet

Quadrant, Mumbai, adds B4U to portfolio

On the eve of the launch of Bollywood channel B4U Movies, entertainment network B4U has awarded Quadrant Communications with its advertising account

Quadrant Communications' Mumbai office has landed the advertising account of television entertainment network B4U; in the process, becoming the first full-service agency for the B4U brand. The decision to go with Quadrant was apparently taken some 10 days ago, and is effective October 1, 2001. "We have already started work on the account," informs Anil Nair, vice-president, Quadrant Communications. "The immediate focus is on the channel B4U Movies, which is officially being launched on October 2."

agencyfaqs! has gathered that B4U had been scouting for a full-fledged agency for some time now. While the network had previously been using the services of a small creative outfit based in Mumbai, apparently the need for a more ‘professional' agency was increasingly being felt. Corroborating this, Nair says, "We know for a fact that the client had been evaluating other agencies too. But they weren't looking for a large agency in terms of depth of strategic thinking etc. Nor were they looking at pure creativity. They wanted an agency with sound thinking and superior output. I think they were quite impressed by our work for other brands, and our focus on creativity." While it is not certain who the "other agencies" were, reliable sources say Mudra Communications was in the final shortlist.

Specific to the assignment, Nair says, "The channel wants to be the No. 1 in the music and movies segments. In music, it has already edged past the likes of etc and Zee Music in terms of quality and content, and has acquired an image. So there isn't any immediate advertising requirement for B4U Music. But they are quite bullish on Movies."

In India, the movie channel segment is already choc-a-bloc, and almost all television networks have a finger in the pie. Take Hindi movies. While on the one hand there are dedicated Hindi movie channels such as Zee Movies and Max - and niche channels such as STAR Gold - all general interest channels (STAR Plus, Sony, Zee) regularly feature Hindi movies in one or the other prime-time slots. Which makes B4U's task quite challenging.

Nair, of course, thinks B4U can pull through easily. "The core strength of B4U is its library," he says. "B4U Entertainment is movie-led and has its grassroots in Bollywood. In that sense, B4U is not just another ‘movie channel'. The channel can effortlessly tap the clout it has over the Hindi film industry. Bollywood is the essence of the brand, and the channel will showcase everything about Bollywood, not just play movies. It's the unofficial Bollywood channel for the Bollywood buff. The product differentiation is clearly embedded."

Outdoor will be a key advertising medium, Nair reveals, adding that print and below-the-line will also be used extensively. "At a later stage we might be looking at radio and movie theatres too, as both speak to the film freak." The approximate spends earmarked for the launch of B4U Movies hovers at Rs 1.5-2 crore. "It's not a big account for us," admits Nair. "But it's an exciting category, and we'll be dealing with creative people. That gives us a kick."

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