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Aaj Tak's 'Aankhen Khol De' campaign - an eye opener for society: Ashish Bagga, India Today

Aaj Tak's 'Aankhen Khol De' campaign - an eye opener for society: Ashish Bagga, India Today

Author | Priyanka Mehra and Surya Kannoth | Friday, Jul 01,2016 9:00 AM

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Aaj Tak's 'Aankhen Khol De' campaign - an eye opener for society: Ashish Bagga, India Today

Aaj Tak’s recent marketing campaign ‘Aankhen Khol De’ takes on the peculiar world of today’s newsmakers. The channel’s tagline Sabse Tez is given an edgy personality with this campaign.

The series of black & while commercials use humour and a creative licence around a few major news stories to drive the point home of Aaj Tak being the eye opener of society. This carries forward the legacy of Aaj Tak preceded by a similar iconic campaign several years back.

The films released include Hasya Kavi, Missing Beta, Videsh Yatra among others. The varied themes of the films highlight the courage of Aaj Tak to call a spade a spade.

In an exclusive chat, Ashish Bagga, CEO, India Today reveals the challenge behind executing this campaign, how it has helped in reinforcing Aaj Tak’s brand image and more.....

All the films in this campaign have a whacky, story-telling element taking a cue from current affairs. Could you explain the concept and the reason behind this campaign?

The concept and reason behind this campaign is to take the No. 1 position of Aaj Tak to a whole new level with a focus on the role of the brand. This campaign reinforces the positioning of Aaj Tak as the SABSE TEZ news channel with the message of being the eye opener of society.

For the last 15 years, Aaj Tak has dominated the news space as the nation’s No.1 News channel and the people’s brand that rules over the mindspace and heart-space. The campaign reiterates the role of Aaj Tak to dig out the truth and to present it as it is, something that the channel has delivered through the years making it the Indian viewer's clear preference.  

Why did you choose to execute this campaign in black and white?

Aaj Tak has always presented the news in black or white without any fear or favour. The black and white theme keeps the focus on the subject and not the distractions. And the treatment makes it timeless.

The films carry forward a similar iconic campaign done to launch Aaj Tak more than a decade ago back. What was the idea behind sticking to a similar format?

The news genre has evolved a lot through the years with tremendous increase in competition. However, the leadership position still continues to be unchallenged with Aaj Tak reigning as the undisputed No.1 News channel in India.  Viewers still recall the magic from the initial ads by Aaj Tak, hence extending the campaign on similar format will only add to the promise of the brand. The earlier films are timeless and had an impact that the viewers still recall.

The first campaign established the channel’s promise of ‘Sabse Tez’ very effectively. We wanted to recreate this magic with relevance to today’s scenario in the news space where speed is no more a differentiating factor. The challenge we had was to add a functional perspective to the proposition of ‘Sabse Tez’ and take the brand to the next level in today’s context.

How challenging was it to execute this campaign?

It was challenging to carry out such a campaign as it had to be as effective like the earlier campaign done years ago. The mix of humour and topicality had to ensure that the message of Aaj Tak was not lost.

How has this campaign helped in reinforcing Aaj Tak’s brand image? Can you share numbers in terms of impact?

This campaign reinforces the positioning of Aaj Tak as the ‘Sabse Tez’ news channel with the message of being the eye opener of society. The campaign reiterates the role of Aaj Tak to ‘Aankhen Khol De’, something that the channel has delivered through the years making it the clear preference. 

Aaj Tak has broken record after record as the Nation’s No.1 News channel across rating frontiers. The channel has been leading consistently as per BARC ratings across gender, age groups and NCCS. Aaj Tak has crossed the 100 million viewership barrier and reigns supreme as the only channel to hold this record for over 30 weeks in a row.

Are you looking at any change in content strategy to cater to your rural audience who command a fair portion of your viewership?

Yes, there is ongoing adaptation and reinvention to set examples as a leader in the news space across both the urban and rural markets. The inclusive treatment of our programming is visible from hard subjects to inspirational stories, problems, issues and a perspective that is fresh and uniquely urban and rural.

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