Promax&BDA India 2005: Day Two began on the same charged note that Day One had ended. Beginning the morning with some of the best recent promos and ads, experts shared more on case studies about successful channel and brand IDs – cases in point were Comedy Central, USA and Channel [V].
For those who had come to hear Bruce Dunlop of Bruce Dunlop and Associates, UK, there was some disappointment as he couldn’t attend the conference. The morning session began with Comedy Central’s Kendrick Reid informing the audience about all the changes that led to the channel’s success in the US. “We are a 24-hour comedy channel, the content line-up includes original CC content and acquired content,” he said.
According to Reid, the problem that the channel faced was two-fold – sustaining the comedy genre and addressing the target audience of young adults. The channel itself had gone through various changes to address these problems and the promos and channel design had been changed accordingly.
He took the audience through the transition process of the channel from its old avatar in 2000 to the present one. “The IDs and promos earlier were at a time when graphics weren’t meant to be funny… the look then was more impersonal, cold and lacked a sense of humour, not to mention very easily copied. We needed to do something that was us,” Reid added.
He demonstrated the ‘us’ to the crowd using all the different IDs that followed a simple philosophy – be funny, and if you can’t be funny, be fun. The channel understood the significance of right IDs and designs in making its properties popular through the late night block. “The band suddenly became very popular and all the advertisers wanted to be on it. This is when we decided to focus on the complete channel in a similar manner,” informed Reid.
Comedy Central created forty-five 20-second IDs, which were rolled out in a phased manner, acquainting the audience with the new look of the channel and adding more eyeballs. Reid shared more on the challenges that the channel faced after it was bought over by MTV Networks, which in essence led to more experiments with design and promo campaigns.
“The tests are still on, but the best of it all is that it is really paying. What we realised is that the look of the channel is what the channel communicates to its audience. We are happy that we have been able to leverage it well,” he added.
With this, Reid handed over the dais to Channel V’s head honcho, Amar Deb. Deb made kept his presentation simple by taking the audience through the work done by Channel V
and the icons that they had created.
“We call it iconography, and the only objective was to make the icon click with our audience,” said Deb. He shared the example of ‘Simpoo’ – the animated icon on the channel. “There was no doubt that in Simpoo we had a hit right from the start. We used him in different kinds of promos to make him more popular, and it has worked,” Deb pointed.
While Simpoo’s exposure ensured that he was a success, Channel V then used him for all their properties – Pop Idol, Super Singer and other interstitials. Another similar face that the channel has is Lolla Kutty. “She was in fill-ups and promos and the character clicked. Then we thought, why can’t she be given a show of her own?” Deb said.
He showed various examples where the channel had made use of these figures to make noise around their properties. “You have to do the things you can’t”, and “There is no democracy when you have a good idea”, were some philosophies that he shared with the crowd in a bid to explain the rationale behind the Channel V’s ways.
Deb also announced the arrival of a new channel figure ‘Bai’, who will make her presence on V soon. ‘Bai’ was initially seen when the sponsor names for various channels were shown.
With these presentations, the final day’s morning session of the two-day Promax&BDA India conference concluded.