zee will launch its 4 hd channel on 15 th august

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6 May 2011
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this is the main article publised on business standard....

Zee shows off its 'desire to succeed'

Apart from a new logo and tagline, India’s third-largest channel is going in for a massive content overhaul.

Punit GoenkaPunit Goenka loves a super-busy schedule. Even by his standards, life has been extraordinarily busy in the past couple of months for the 37-year-old MD & CEO of Zee Entertainment.

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In May, Zee and Star India merged their distribution business. Though the coming together of the media giants after 12 long years could redefine the television distribution landscape, Goenka plays it down in his characteristic style.

No such self-restraint is visible when he talks about the second rebranding of Zee which was unveiled on Saturday. “It’s not a brand launch, it’s a brand reinvention,” says Goenka .

The new aqua blue logo, portraying the outline of a swan, features a stylish ‘Z’ font, developed by Zee’s in-house team. Goenka explains that the abstract form of the ‘Z’ and vibrancy of aqua blue bring in modernity and freshness to the brand. “The unshackling of the ‘Z’ from the box symbolises today’s woman’s zest for life. The overall design reflects the idea of looking into the future with hope,” he adds.

K S Chakravarthy, National Creative Director of Draftfcb Ulka, who oversaw the makeover, says the ‘desire to succeed’ theme will be the focus of the new TV commercials. The TVCs show a girl-child being bullied by her classmates when she tries to show them her paintings. After a while, she ties her paintings to a kite, signifying that the sky is her canvas.

The brand recast, however, goes beyond just a new logo and tagline. It’s being accompanied by a content overhaul as well. The flagship channel will increase its original programming to 35 hours from 30 hours per week. So expect a series of new shows and blockbuster movie offerings which, Goenka hopes, will live up to the hype that the brand relaunch will create.

The focus will be on making the common man the real superstar through programmes such as Shobha Somnath Ki, a period drama , Mrs Kausik Ki Paanch Bahuein and a home-grown reality show India Ke Jaanbaaz. “Zee does not believe in star power. Most of the programmes will be about everyday struggle and hope,” Chakravarthy says.

Zee executives say that the overhaul was overdue (market leader Star Plus changed from blue to ruby last year) as the last major makeover for Zee was five years ago. There was only a repackaging exercise in 2008 with a new tagline.

“The audience has evolved; so has the industry. You will see the transformation in the content as well. Even the reality shows have changed from a traditional Sa Re Ga Ma Pa to far more modern and young shows,” says Goenka.

The focus on the common man made Zee avoid the beaten path of asking Bollywood stars to endorse the new logo. The network conducted a mammoth exercise for over eight months when 1.4 million viewers were involved. The company took inputs from its viewers before flying in around 1,000 people to Mumbai for finalising the brand revamp. These 1,000 viewers from all across India will be the brand ambassadors of the network.

Though Goenka says the network’s dependence on Zee TV for its revenues and profits has reduced “substantially” from over 50 per cent earlier, the GEC space remains critical for all channels. According to TV audience monitoring agency TAM, more than 50 per cent of the viewership share in Hindi speaking market is dominated by Hindi GECs and movies combined.

The other big initiative will be in the regional channel space. This year, Zee will be consolidating its presence in the Marathi space. The network is also looking at increased subscription from its niche channels. In August, Zee will launch a 24-hour golf channel called Ten Golf.

The network will also follow Star in launching a high definition feed of four key channels - Zee TV, Zee Cinema, Zee Studio and Ten Sports – from August 15.

The makeover, observers say, is timely as it comes at a time when the gap between the top three channels is narrowing slowly. In the week ended June 11, Star Plus remained number one with 247 gross rating points (GRPs), followed by Colors and Zee TV with 239 and 208 points respectively.

Shripad Kulkarni , CEO Allied Media, the media buying arm of Percept Holdings , says rebranding rejuvenates and provides a fresh perspective. “It’s not really about television ratings, though that could be an added benefit,” he adds. “This is about reassuring stakeholders, advertisers and joint venture partners that you’re bringing more energy into the brand.”

At a time when 75 new channels are coming up, that’s precisely what India’s third largest channel is trying to do.

source:business standard
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