Zee zeal comes to the fore

03 Jan,2012


By Rishi Vora


The year 2012 promises to be a memorable one for Zee TV, with a celebration to mark the channel’s completing 20 years of being in the broadcast business.


Besides completing 20 years of being in the broadcast business, the channel is expecting to climb the GRP ladder and look to attain leadership position. The road has been patchy at times, competition has stifled its growth and the channel has not quite delivered as per expectations. But, in all certainty, one can say that Zee is one channel which has stuck with the idea of being a family entertainment channel, one that does not believe in spending millions on celebrities, and one that is known to be profitable in the business.


The company is planning to celebrate its 20 years with a campaign that’ll communicate the brand’s philosophy. Though finer details of the campaign are not known, it is learnt that the channel is looking to work more towards the channel brand Zee besides regular marketing campaigns to promote fiction and non-fiction shows.


Akash Chawla

Marketing Head of the group’s national channels, Akash Chawla admits that Zee has in the past few months taken a beating as far as ratings are concerned. But, at the same time he is of the opinion that 2012 is the year where they will look to change their ranking, where the idea is to be the No 1 player in the next 12 months.


“We will go step-by-step in achieving that goal,” he said. He also mentioned that the first goal will be to reach the No 2 position in the next four months.


Content will play a major role and as a part of the strategy, Zee will look to bring international formats, something which they haven’t tried their hands at in the past. While that is true, the channel will continue to launch home-grown formats too. Recently, the channel launched a couple of fiction shows and is looking to promote them on the back of reality show – Dance India Dance 3 (DID 3), a reality dance format show which Zee is betting big on.


A lot of work has gone in the new media initiatives, promoting DID 3. The channel recently organised a flash mob with the idea to promote the concept of ‘dance’ among viewers (see photograph). Besides that, contests on Facebook, hoarding, press, TV spots supporting the mega campaign. “The idea is to have a dialogue with the viewers. Even in the case of our press ads, we have tried to make a dialogue with our viewers, explained Chawla. “He further added, “We also did a flash mob because we thought it was a great idea. We were launching the show at a peak of a season where people tend to move out a lot. Also we did this when it was a holiday season, so footfalls in public places are likely to be more. If at the end of the day, I can make people dance along with Dance India Dance, the message is there, the engagement is there. The recall value increases.”


Zee Cine Awards will happen in Macau on January 21 and be aired on the network on February 5. The show is promoted across all countries where Zee operates; however, marketing activities are being carried out country wise, where there will be different ideas, contests and marketing plans for different countries. Ditto with sponsorships, where each country will have a different presenting sponsor. For India, the channel has got on board Pan Bahar as the presenting sponsor.


The campaign will cut across outdoor, print, radio, on-air promotions and interactive contests. It will also widely explore the digital space including social media, mobile-based apps and forge strategic tie-ups in every region to ensure a 360* connect with Indian as well as international audiences. This coming together of Zee’s global marketing teams will see more than 30,000 promos running across its global network in 168 countries.


The story doesn’t end here for both Chawla and Zee Group for that matter. From a network point of view, there is a renewed thrust on Zee Classic. One of the three channels that were launched to be on the digital platforms initially. Zee Premier and Zee Action being the remaining two. Having defined a niche for Zee Classic and the fact that the channel has already about 500-odd movies to engage the audience with, the task at hand for Chawla and team is to market the channel more aggressively to that specific niche. The channel launched a new show called Classic Legends, presented by Javed Akhtar.


Digitisation will help boost channel’s profits. It also opens up a whole new channel for marketing. Dish TV being a sister company, and reported to be the largest among DTH players, Chawla says it makes more sense to leverage that platform and generate as much traction from there in promoting the channels shows, particularly reality shows – DID 3 in this case.


So a lot happening. DID 3, Zee Cine Awards, the new media thrust, the plan to be No 2 in four months and No 1 in a year’s time. The task is mammoth as Sony and Colors too are eyeing the No 1 spot. So these are testing times for Zee. Will the pressure of expectations defeat the channel’s ambitious moves? Or will it come out victorious?

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One response to “Zee zeal comes to the fore”

  1. All the best to ZEE & Mr Akash Chwala.