PIX, the English movie channel from Sony Entertainment Television which hit the Indian screens on April 1, 2006, has finally begun its marketing. When asked about the subject at that time, Sunder Aaron, Business Head of the channel, had explained, “We are dealing with a very demanding TG. The upper class is very clear on what it wants, and it wants the best. We would want to begin communication when ground realities like distribution are place so that when we urge the viewer to tune-in, they aren’t lost searching for the channel.”
Speaking on the issue now, Aaron said, “We wanted to wait and now we have very positive numbers on the distribution front. In fact, the channel itself is throwing good numbers. To be in the third slot in the main metros, which are key markets for us, in just four months of launch is a very healthy indication.”
While the numbers are on the positive side for Aaron, the campaign itself is directed on the channel’s brand promise of ‘telling stories’. “The whole focus for us is stories and story telling. So, we wanted to play out the part that we are very careful and selective abut the movies we show and so the ‘handpicked’ approach.”
He asserted that the campaign at present was about spreading the message on what PIX was about. The campaign is spread across main metros and will last for a month. “Following this, we will change our focus to trade and concentrate on getting another message out,” added Aaron.
Many feel that since the titles are from all ages, the channel itself has a retro feel to it. Aaron responded, “I’ve always been clear that we are picking the best movies, they can be from any genre or any decade as long as it’s a good story. We aren’t a retro channel or even trying to be one. Furthermore, the audience are taking to the content and that is showing in numbers.”
The channel has been focussed on being interactive as well. Viewers have the option to know more about PIX by SMSing on 2525. The channel has also launched a comprehensive website, www.pixtelevision.com, which includes content right from trailors to the movie schedule and so on.
On the programming front, the concentration will be on daypart building as it is on the channel at present. Aaron said, “We want more numbers and you have to start by being focussed in being a core value. We are doing that and we know it will take it time, but our goal is to show the best movies and get the best viewership.”
As is known, the channel has begun with the evening and the weekend bands, considering these are the primetime for English movie viewing. PIX’s line-up begins from 8.00 pm onwards and has franchisees like ‘Great at 8’ and ‘Perfect 10’. The weekend initiative is lined for Friday, where two back-to-back movies are packaged in the property ‘Damn Good Drama’, again taking the 8.00 pm and the 10.00 pm slots.
Our typical marketing budget is usually 10 per cent of the topline spend