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Sahara One to launch Firangi channel on February 25; PerceptH roped in to handle creative duties

01-February-2008
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Sahara One to launch Firangi channel on February 25; PerceptH roped in to handle creative duties

Firangi, the new entertainment channel from Sahara One, has assigned its creative mandate to PerceptH. The channel is slated to launch on February 25, 2008. In an exclusive conversation with exchange4media, Rajeev Chakrabarti, Business Head of Firangi, shares the channel’s plans and other programming initiatives.

Sahara One’s new entertainment channel, ‘Firangi’ ropes in Percept H as its creative agency. However the initial promotions are created in-house. In conversation with exchange4media, Rajeev Chakrabarti, Business Head shares the plans and other programming initiatives. The channel is slated to launch on February 25, 2008. Starcom MediaVest Group is the strategic consultant and media planning AoR for the channel.

Firangi proposes to break new ground with the creation of the ‘world television category’. The channel would source a wide spectrum of entertainment programming from across the globe to target predominantly adult viewers. In a departure from the conventional Hindi entertainment programming, Firangi will introduce its viewers to the world’s most-watched novellas, sitcoms, short series, adventure series and world cinema. The channel will adopt one-hour format shows.

Commenting on the channel’s prospects, Chakrabarti said, “We are a world television channel, which will showcase the best of stories that would comprise drama and mini-series. We might also look at world movies, but currently that is not our focus. As of now, only world television is on the menu. For advertisers, it is a relatively new concept in India and might take some time for them to adapt to this format. But if one can showcase the right content, properly dubbed, there is no reason why advertisers would not come in.”

He further said, “The channel will have full-fledged dubbed content. So, we are extremely serious about this business, very quality conscious and know what the viewers want. We have done enough of research and found that viewers were apprehensive of the quality of dubbing. Our promise to the viewers is that we will set a new benchmark there.”

For its research, the channel worked with Ormax, a specialist qualitative research firm, along with Quantum Research agency. The channel, which has acquired more than 2,000 hours of content from across the world, will target viewers in the 20-45 age group in SEC A and B in North and West India.

The channel has also unveiled its logo, which has been conceptualised by Stein Branding, an Argentinean company. Explaining the design of the logo, Chakrabarti said, “The logo will signify the channel to be fresh, contemporary and bold. As we are picking the content from all over the world, we thought to lend the spirit of the channel to the logo, which will speak for the channel for itself.”

On the finalisation of advertisers, Chakrabarti explained that the channel was still in talks with some advertisers, but nothing had been finalised yet.

On the marketing plans, he informed that it was a multi-city mass media focussed strategy. The channel has started off with television commercials. Gradually the campaign will roll out to outdoor, radio and print. The channel has planned various on-ground activities as well, which would pan out close to the launch date. The main promotion object right now is to create maximum awareness amongst the masses for the channel.

As the creative agency, PerceptH will be spearheading the communication for Firangi, however, the channel’s initial promo commercials were created in-house by the on-air team headed by Manoj Nair. The other key people that would form the team at Firangi channel include Madhur Bundela as Head of Programming and Raj Kumar Remalli as Head of Revenue and Ad Sales.

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