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Of young girls and a bubblegum band; will Channel [V] Popstars connect with the masses?

21-February-2002
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Of young girls and a bubblegum band; will Channel [V] Popstars connect with the masses?

Saas-Bahu fracas and wide-eyed dreams of making millions one night may be part of every Indian’s being, but is becoming a Popstar one?

Star would like us to believe so. And they have put the money where the mouth is. Primetime simulcast across 5 channels including Star Plus, massive buildup through on-air promos and substantial visibility in print medium has already build high expectations from the event. “Popstars has all the makings of a blockbuster. We are quite hopeful,” says visibly excited Raj Nayak, executive VP, Sales and Marketing at Star Network.

Several sponsors, including Coke, Bacardi, Fa and Liberty have bought the promise. What are they expecting?

“This is not a KBC, which gets a high rating among masses, but a more focused program targeted at youth. It may not get the KBC kind of overall rating, we expect a good rating in Coke’s core TG,” says a cautious CVL Srinivas, COO Madison AOR, the agency handling Coke’s account. “Popshows and Bands are not a rage in India, yet. Pop is still a little alien and western format, especially amongst the middle class,” opines another senior media watcher.

While Popstars may not be the next KBC, it seems to be an extension of a well thought out strategy. After establishing Star Plus as a clear leader in the ‘general entertainment’ genre and Star Movies jostling for similar position in English movies genre, music is the next battleground. Channel [V] has undergone several incarnations in last couple of years- from being a very ‘western’ channel to a ‘youth’ brand- and had ended up becoming a diffused brand. At the same time, many music channels like ETC, Music Asia, CMM, ITV have crowded the space. MTV, the arch rival, had remained firm with its brand of humor and slick packaging. To revive the brand, Channel [V] had launched a mass media campaign sometime back that revolved around its fresh crop of VJs. With Popstars, it would hope to make a big difference.

“Simulcast across 5 channels would increase the chances of audience sampling the programme and would comeback for more for the next episode,” says Nayak explaining the rationale of engaging 5 channels.

Tonight, as the first episode goes on air, could well decide the destiny of scores of wannabes and maybe Channel [V]’s too. Kya aaj [V] ka band bajega!

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