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Sony SAB rebrands, ropes in Varun Dhawan for youth connect

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Sony SAB rebrands, ropes in Varun Dhawan for youth connect

With Hindi GEC Sony SAB completing 10 years, the channel has opted for a refurbished look and roped in actor VarunDhawan as its brand ambassador to reach out to the younger audience. With a new colourful logo and tagline (‘Haste Raho India’), lively packaging and vibrant campaign, the channel is bringing in a slew of new shows with the recently launched ‘Sajjan Re PhirJhoot Mat Bolo’ and ‘TV, BiwiAur Main’ and the upcoming ‘Tenali Rama’, ‘Shankar Jay Kishan, 3-in-1’ and ‘Aadat Se Majboor.’  The new brand expression underlines the channel’s conviction, “If you are not laughing, you are not living”.

NeerajVyas, Sr. EVP & Head, SonySAB and MAX cluster of channels, says, “Every brand needs refurbishment. In the quest to find a brand purpose, we stumbled into The Happiness Survey, which helped us come out with the campaign. It’s been 10 years of SAB in the market. We need to keep pace with consumer’s energy and times.” The campaign,he informs, is a collaborative effort between the network and Rediffusion.

Vyas emphasises on SAB’s objective to be youthful and cater to the growing youth segment with the new packaging. However, he clearly mentions that it’s not going to be a youth channel. “We maintain ourselves as family channel andwill not have adult comedy. We will certainly push the envelope a bit and not remain a ‘sanskari’ channel as we used to be at some point in time.”

NP Singh, ‎CEO, Sony Pictures Networks India, adds, “For over a decade, SAB has emerged as the most distinctive channel in GEC and built a sizeable loyal audience. The new, re-energized SAB is all set to deliver on the promise of ‘Haste Raho India’ as its mission is to be recognized as the ‘frown flipper’ for Indian audiences. The essence of this new avatar will be reflected in SAB’s new identity and show line-up.”

The shows will be on air by mid-August.Vyas informs that they are still working on the show timings and are even considering extension of timelines, which currently run from 7.30 pm to 10.30pm. Some of the existing shows will go off air by then. The packaging reflects on the content strategy as well. The business head shares, “The investment on content has definitely gone up. We are looking at bigger sets and better actors. So, costs have certainly gone up. It’s a good 25% more than what we usually spend on content.”

The channel is looking to widen the audience spread especially in the north (Delhi, UP) with ‘focused strategies in mind’.Vyas shares, “We have shows that will cater to that market as well. We are also being careful with the way we market the channel there.” For the uninitiated, the channel already has a solid foothold in the west including Maharashtra, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh.

According to Vyas, VarunDhawanfits the bill as he brings in the desired youthfulness and fresh wave of energy to the brand. The channel promise of ‘Haste Raho India’ is being brought alive through a series of brand films anchored by the actor that will be seen across the network. From June 14, the channel will embark on a 360-degree robust marketing campaign for its new brand identity spanning across two weeks and different mediums. Apart from their own cluster of 30 channels, the campaign will be shown across other music, news and infotainment channels. “You will see VarunDhawan all over,” sharesVyas, adding that in the first week, the marketing will be targeted across HSM (Hindi Speaking Market) and in the second week, it will be focused more on the north.

This ensures a huge budget and Vyas reveals that the marketing spend for this campaign is the maximum in these 10 years. “I don’t think SAB has ever spent so much in one campaign.”


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