The year 2011 is seeing quite a few new additions at Reliance Broadcasting Network Ltd (RBNL). Five months into the year and the group already boasts of having launched two English general entertainment channels – Prime and Love – and a channel especially for the youth – Spark. These apart, from content alliances with top names in the business to joint ventures with seasoned networks, RBNL is branching out to offer a wide range of platforms to advertisers.
In the final leg of the expansion, a Hindi general entertainment channel is expected to join RBNL’s channel offerings. As of now, the network remains cagey about any such plans and insists that a Hindi GEC would demand too much mind space and that they wanted to concentrate on developing the newly launched channels for now.
In the meanwhile, the newest sibling in the family is BIG Magic, which marks RBNL’s entry in the regional entertainment space. The interesting positioning of the channel is what makes it difficult to define. Dubbed as “exclusively for Hindustan”, it features locally relevant entertainment with a mix of humour, Bollywood, movies, and music. The channel is custom made for the core Hindi heartland audiences of Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Bihar, supported by endearing characters and programmes that are kaleidoscopic of the different facets of the region and its people.
Commenting on the stream of thought behind the content, Anand Chakravarthy, Executive Vice President - Marketing, RBNL, said, “The content is custom made, designed for them and backed by consumer insights. We are looking at content, shows, characters based out the region, using dialect of this region. We have made a large impact on the market more than other older channels in this area.”
Speaking further on the content, he said, “To offer relevant and unique content, we first decided on a variety entertainment format. On a national level, there are few channels that can claim to be variety entertainment channels. This forms a great mix on content. We have looked at what movies have worked on other channels in these markets – light hearted, widely watchable movies that don’t have violence – and we chose a specific set of movies. We have dedicated music blocks, an understanding that comes from five years of experience in radio. As we have been a part of this market, this is our strength. Content is not about having great ideas, but understanding the audience. Any new show will be designed around something that will appeal to our viewers.”
Chakravarthy said, “More than marketing, it’s a business synergy. It begins with us being a media company that provides solutions to brands. Radio and TV are complimentary mediums that work effectively together. Brands that advertise on TV are also the biggest advertisers on radio. Ours is strong media proposition for a brand.”
He further said that the second synergy was in terms of content. “We understood this market five years ago due to our radio stations. We are aware of the music, humour, and locally relevant insights that interest people in this reason. Marketing is the third area of synergy. Big Magic gets huge support from Big FM.”
Local Hindi GEC?
When asked to define the channel’s core DNA, Chakravarthy maintained that the channel was targeted at the ‘Hindustani language’ market, featuring a combination of humour, music, Bollywood and movies. According to him, the opportunity lay in the fact that the growth for regional media was abundant, especially in TV and radio and there was an opportunity to super service this audience here. “The Hindi heartland is currently serviced by regional national channels or smaller niche channels,” he noted.
Heading the channel, Sunil Kumaran, Business Head, BIG Magic, said in a press note, “With shows designed and created to give a high local connect along with extensive marketing initiatives, we hope to take the channel to greater heights. The synergies between BIG FM and Magic have further strengthened our standing in the market. The channel offers an effective platform for enhanced reach in the Hindi heartland for brands, both national as well as regional.”
On the Marketing Foot
BIG Magic is supported by an integrated media campaign to aggressively market the channel and for greater sampling. The three-week old channel claims to have clocked high GRPs matching up to established channels like Mahuaa TV, Dabaang, Sahara Samay UP, Dhamaal, Zee News UP, and a host of others. (Source: TAM- Week 19- CS 4 + - Markets – UP+MP+BIHAR – UP .1 to 1 Mn+, UP 1Mn+, MP .1to 1Mn, Mp 1Mn+, Bihar 1 Mn+)
Titled ‘Smile Please’, the marketing campaign leverages famous Bollywood dialogues in a humorous manner, supported by local characters. The entire launch marketing initiative involves spends in excess of Rs 4 crore, focused on the key markets in UP, MP and Bihar. The channel will be continuously supported with an ongoing radio campaign and on ground to ensure consumer interest and sampling of the channel.
Chakravarthy added, “Big Magic reflects the mindset of the region and the creative idea of ‘Smile Please’ is a reflection of their attitude of making good any situation. The channel is tailor-made to deliver this promise through light-hearted entertainment and we are confident that the already impressive channel performance will be enhanced through the new campaign. With our strong presence in these markets with 92.7 BIG FM, fortified with an integrated media campaign the launch campaign will see greater viewership driven for the channel.”
BIG Magic has brought innovation in its customary marketing initiatives too, wherein the channel has created a bookmark like effect with a tear away smiling mask on its print media campaign, thereby ensuring the recall of its message, ‘Smile Please!’ beyond the advertisement. The channel further enhanced its idea in trade and client offices through a stand-up comedy act across Mumbai, Delhi and Kolkata. This, together with a generous helping of ‘Dhood Jalebi’ (hot milk served with the traditional sweet, jalebi), are touches added to bring alive the flavour of the region, literally.
The channel will derive huge synergies with RBNL’s already well established radio brand – 92.7 BIG FM, operating 11 stations in the heartland and catering a weekly audience of approximately 22 lakh (in the region alone). Going with its strategy to go deep within UP, MP and Bihar, the media plan consists of a very high decibel radio campaign using 92.7 BIG FM.
OOH and more…
The out of home campaign focuses on relevant consumer touch points - mall wraps, retail space branding, intercity bus wraps, frequently seen transport auto and tempo branding, as well as television screens across cities. The channel’s unique interactive on ground game show, ‘Khiladi No 1’, will also play a key part in promoting the channel, with an extensive on ground plan, taking the show across the region into many cities.
Digital media is also being used to connect with viewers across the region. Both online and mobile form a part of the plan, ensuring that consumer awareness and interest in the channel is driven through every relevant means.