This television channel airs commercials of Hindustan Lever exclusively. Hindustan Lever’s media buying agency, MindShare, a WPP group outfit, has started its own cable TV channel, T Matrix, in Delhi, Uttaranchal and Gujarat.
According to MindShare executives, the channel has been created to give Hindustan Lever another medium to advertise its products tailor-made for semi-urban and rural areas.
Of course, the spot rates on T Matrix are on a par with other local cable channels and much below the satellite channel rates.
“Local cable channels get a viewership of around 12-15 per cent in many parts of the country. And advertising on these channels is unregulated and even shady at times. So, we are trying to professionalise this space, which is ideal for several brands of our advertisers,” said Vikram Sakhuja, managing director, Mindshare.
T Matrix has tied up with a few multi-service operators in Delhi, Uttaranchal and Gujarat. It reaches nearly 2 million cable and satellite homes. The channel is telecast daily between 1 pm and 5 pm, and shows Indian and Pakistani dramas.
“We are trying to package it in a way that it gives the viewer the feel of a Sony or a Star Plus,” Sakhuja said. MindShare is planning to expand the reach of T Matrix to other regions and increase the telecast time as well. For this, MindShare will have to look for better content, which comes at a price.
“We certainly don’t intend to get into content creation. We will continue to source programmes like other channels. But it is still early days for T Matrix and we have to see how it picks up,” he said.
Rival media buyers said MindShare’s idea of owning media was farfetched. “I doubt if it is feasible in the long run,” said the head of a media buying agency.
“Prime time media properties and cricket matches are getting highly expensive, and with regional diversity of choices some advertisers are feeling that they are not getting the maximum bang for their buck. As the market leader, the WPP group can afford to look at such innovative and cheap options that give their clients a more focussed target audience,” said another media buying executive.