Zee Marathi rebrands, adopts the new unified orange look for Zee’s GECs

Zee Marathi was so far the only large Zee GEC to have its own graphics, instead of adopting other channels’ graphics. Now it has finally followed suit, though it uses the distinctive ‘sonchafa’ flower instead of the marigold.

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By Soham Bhadra

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Zee Marathi, one of the oldest entertainment channels in Maharashtra, introduced a new graphics package on 27 May (Monday) that finally brings it in line with Zee’s other major GECs, which have been rebranding over the past year with a new graphics system. Its graphics package makes use of the champak flower, known in Marathi as sonchafa, in contrast to the distinctive elements introduced by other Zee GECs while maintaining the same general template: an orange marigold flower for Zee TV, Tamil, Telugu and Kannada; red fish scales for Zee Bangla; and a red hibiscus flower for Zee Keralam. Moreover, the channel has reintroduced its longstanding slogan of Mi Marathi. Zee Marathi. (My Marathi. Zee Marathi.) with this rebrand, which was not used for some time.

This marks the first time that Zee Marathi has adopted the same graphics as other Zee channels because historically Zee Marathi always marched to its own beat and had its own unique graphics packages that were not used by any other channel. The previous look was introduced on 23 August 2021 and featured traditional Maharashtrian cultural motifs — similar to Sony Marathi, Star Pravah and Pravah Picture — while the new graphics use the same orange colour as many of Zee’s other regional GECs, with only the champak or sonchafa flower distinguishing it from the common template used by several other channels.

  • Zee Marathi Rebrand 2024
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With this rebrand, all of Zee’s large GECs — not counting &TV, Zee Anmol and Big Magic in Hindi, and Zee Café in English — have adopted this common graphics template, and the remaining smaller GECs are Zee Sarthak (Odia), Zee Punjabi and Zee Marathi’s secondary sibling Zee Yuva. These are somewhat unlikely to follow suit, since they have their own unique graphics packages — with Zee Sarthak using a red-based colour scheme and Zee Punjabi having purple and gold — and do not have HD feeds for that matter. (Zee’s Bhojpuri GEC, Zee Ganga, no longer exists, since it has now rebranded as Zee Anmol Cinema 2, leaving only the movie channel Zee Biskope in Bhojpuri.)

This graphics template, in turn, replaced the ‘orange ripple’ graphics that had been in use across several of Zee’s GECs (except Zee Marathi) — with Zee Bangla using a red variation of the same — since the mega-rebrand of the broadcaster on its 25th anniversary in 2017. The table below shows how various Zee GECs have been adopting the new graphics, with Zee Telugu being the first to introduce the scheme a year ago in May 2023. Zee Keralam has arguably been the most innovative of the lot since it was the only one to break away from the common orange graphics and launch a new red look inspired by the hibiscus flower.

The new graphics template was created by Dynamite Design — but with a different hibiscus motif for Zee Marathi

For the record, Dynamite Design, one of India’s largest and most well-known creative design firms, was responsible for designing and implementing the new graphics template for the Zee regional GECs. (It had also designed the young, fresh look and feel for its sister Marathi music channel Zee Vajwa, which was shut down after only a year on air.) The original look was designed with the flagship Hindi GEC Zee TV in mind, while unique concepts (with different cultural elements on top of the same template) were designed for some channels — Zee Marathi, Bangla, Tamil and Keralam — but Zee Telugu and Kannada were not given any special treatment by the design agency.

However, the concepts that Dynamite Design had come up with (as visible on its project display page) are often different from what the Zee channels eventually chose for their graphics. The ‘orange marigold’ graphics for Zee TV were expectedly copied by Zee Kannada, though Zee Telugu was the first to introduce it. But even though the agency had designed a slightly different look and feel for Zee Tamil with quilled flowers, the idea remained unused and that channel eventually copied the same graphics from Zee TV and Telugu. Zee Bangla was lucky in that sense since the concept of red fish scales was actually translated into the on-air graphics, instead of copying the same orange look from Zee TV.

As far as Zee Marathi is concerned, Dynamite Design’s concept consisted of an orange hibiscus flower, depicted in the below collage of graphic elements. However, it turns out that the hibiscus concept was instead used for Zee Keralam, and in red instead of orange, whereas the design agency’s idea for Zee Keralam was a yellow flower — much brighter than the orange and red shades otherwise used — and this idea was eventually left unused. In any case, Zee Keralam deserves credit for implementing its own idea instead of copying like Zee Kannada, all the more so since it previously used the same ‘orange ripple’ graphics as several others. Zee Marathi, too, has brought in some creativity with the sonchafa flower, but to a lesser extent since the rest of the graphics use the same orange.

Zee Marathi Dynamite Design Concept
Above: Dynamite Design’s concept for Zee Marathi that was left unused.

Zee Marathi’s rebrand comes as the channel has steadily lost market share since 2020 to Star Pravah, which now has several times the viewership, and is now a permanent fixture in BARC’s weekly ratings for the 10 most-watched Indian TV channels. This rebranding not only brings it in line with other Zee GECs but also serves as an opportunity to establish a deeper connect in the minds and hearts of Maharashtrians who have trusted the channel for nearly 25 years — something that is reflected in the Zee network’s special treatment of its Marathi cluster compared to other regional offerings. It remains to be seen whether Zee Marathi will regain some of the market share lost to Star Pravah, while other competitors like Colors Marathi, Sony Marathi and Sun Marathi all vie for a slice of the ratings pie.

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Soham Bhadra

Television Analyst

84 articles published
Soham is a Computer Science graduate from NTU, Singapore, actively interested in the Indian TV and entertainment industry. He publishes articles and shares his insights on the Indian TV industry and DTH operators. He has a passion for words and reflects that through his articles.

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