If Sony’s concentration on weekend programming is obvious, weekend marketing cannot be far behind. After promoting Filmfare awards in a grand manner, Sony is making considerable efforts to increase reach and rope in newer audiences.
Several film award functions have been aired on different channels of late. From the Screen awards and Stardust on Star to Sansui Viewer’s choice awards on Sony itself. However, Sony deviated from routine to promote Filmfare. “It was not just awards and performances,” says Tarun Katial, EVP, Programming and Response, SET. “We had the curtain raiser and we had capsules, where entire teams pitched for each nominee, all in a well-woven script, anchored and presented differently. The style allowed clutter break.”
The hype around Filmfare this time might help the channel increase TRPs. Last year, in Hindi Speaking markets, Filmfare awards generated 2.25 in the first screening on February 21, 2003 and almost 2 in the repeat show for the target CS 4+. As per Katial, the awards mean new eyeballs on the channel and a better reach. And that is what the channel intends to cash on.
“We decided that the promos of our new show Kkehna Hai Kuch Mujhko and the new ads of Crime Patrol would break during the awards. With increased advantages of visibility and reach, it makes more sense to showcase our products, which are in launch, re-launch or a format change mode on this platform,” elucidates Katial.
While Sony utilised Filmfare to the limit, the channel’s weekend promotions on local cable network are also worth mention. If channel shares on Indian television hold some weight, cable regional is one category that takes a beating only from the leader. But since the market is unorganised, the potential of this medium is literally wasted. Apparently, not in Sony’s case.
Explains Albert Almeida, Sr VP marketing, SET, “When we launch a campaign, we are clear in our strategy of who we want to reach. As a vehicle, cable has a very strong role to play in the media plan. It gives the benefit of the incremental viewer.”
However, with cable content being unplanned, how can they be sure that the promos will be placed in the right slot? “We share strong relations with the cable networks. Not just through our agency but also at a direct level with One Alliance,” replies Almeida. Another hindrance perhaps that the cable network faces is that it is not considered up-market. On how the channel views this, he divulges, “It depends on where the ads are placed. We never put it in the primetime or evening slots. We look at the afternoon slots when we know that there might be some decent movie playing and we can reach our target.”