Viacom18 adds Colors to Regionals

05 Mar,2015


By A Correspondent


A day before the auspicious festival of Holi set in, Viacom18 made announcement that reflects the plans the entertainment network has for its regionals: it has announced the rebranding of five ETV-prefixed regional general entertainment channels in Marathi, Gujarati, Kannada, Bengali and Oriya. These will now be prefixed with Colors which has been until now the preserve of the Hindi GEC alone.


The ETC GECs are owned by Prism TV Private Limited and are a part of the Viacom18 networks which has operations in the Hindi entertainment, youth, children, English entertainment and regional clusters.


Sudhanshu Vats

On making the regional foray, Sudhanshu Vats, Group CEO Viacom18 Media Pvt. Ltd. said, “59 per cent of the country converses in regional languages as their primary language of choice. Today regional TV channels command the second largest viewership in India. The expansion fuels our growth strategy in building the Colors franchise, a brand that has become the cultural touchstone for millions of Indians across the world. The move will help us foray into key regional markets as we nurture and monetise the bouquet across platforms.”


All of it is subject to regulatory approvals. Viacom Inc. through its subsidiary Nick Asia will acquire a 50 per cent interest in the five regional general entertainment channels, while TV18 will continue to own the remaining 50 per cent.


On the communication approach to socialise the rebranding, he indicated that the “revelation of the new brand identity of each of the five regional channels has been staggered across a period of two months starting March 3, 2015. It is scheduled to coincide with regional festivals that mark new beginnings. 360-degree marketing and communication campaigns encompassing TV, cinema, cable, on-ground, radio, outdoor as well as digital platforms, customised to individual regional markets, will amplify the change.” Colors Marathi, for instance, will take on the rebranded avatar from March 22 given that it coincides with Gudi Padwa.


Campaigns for each regional brand will leverage the distinct fervour of the corresponding state or region through region specific events and / or on-ground activations involving popular local influencers. Each high-decibel campaign will run for approximately four to five weeks. According to the grapevine, an approximate amount of Rs 50-60 crore will be sent on the marketing and activation offensive to unveil the rebranding. An additional expense will also be incurred on programming initiatives that will coincide with the blitz.


Meanwhile, Mr Vats told MxMIndia that the network is keen to grow each of the clusters, though he did not reveal when more channels would be launched in each of the five clusters.


A senior media planner MxMIndia spoke with told us on conditions of anonymity, that the Colors branding was a logical way to go for the regional channels. It’s a win-win for all, because Colors is already an established franchise and will have a positive rub-off given the Hindi GEC enjoys leadership status and is ranked second in the entertainment space.


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