As a reinforcement to its repositioning in June 2010, Hindi general entertainment channel Star Plus has switched gears to take its ‘Rishta Wahi, Soch Nayi’ strategy to the next stage of execution. Come January 29, 2010 Star Plus has announced the launch of a new content line up comprising of three new weekend primetime shows – ‘Love U Zindagi’, ‘Pyaar Mein Twist’ and ‘Wife Bina Life’, two of which are fiction shows while the third is reality format show.
Speaking on phase two of the channel’s rebranding strategy and the need for direct communication with viewers, Uday Shankar, CEO, STAR India, told to exchange4media, “When we revamped the channel’s strategy with ‘Rishta Wahi, Soch Nayi’ last year, I wondered what would happen six months down the line. It would be forgotten by the viewers and by us as it would become a regular feature of our lives. This is a way to remind ourselves that there is a philosophy we must live up to and to tell our viewers that this channels stands for a certain philosophy and we are very committed to it.”
‘Love U Zindagi’ is an adaptation of Hindi blockbuster ‘Jab We Met’ for which Star Plus has involved Director Imitiaz Ali on the conceptual front. As the name suggests, the show’s leading protagonist is a lively and headstrong girl Geet, who lives life to the fullest with the show set in a Punjabi backdrop.
‘Wife Bina Life’, with anchors Mini Mathur and Cyrus Sahukar, is a reality show that will fill in the reality slot left vacant by ‘Masterchef India’. The show will see average men taking up the challenge of running a household for two weeks while the women are on a vacation.
‘Pyaar Mein Twist’ is the channels’ first complete comedy fiction show. The weekend bouquet totals up to two and a half hours of fresh programming by the channel which be supplemented by the rotating ‘maha-episode’, which will now be an hour long episode as opposed to two hour back-to-back episodes, from the weekday regular fiction bucket.
On the new content line up, Shankar said, “I am excited about our new show, ‘Wife Bina Life’ as this is the only show that involves the whole family rather than only one or two members of the family. It is an attempt to capture the life of family in its entirety and heavily in sync with our current philosophy.”
Citing other instances where the channel has opened interactive communication with its viewers, Shankar said, “Tracing back, we have being taking steps to enhance this philosophy in the interim. Before we launched ‘Kali’ about six months ago, there was a very direct communication where we looked into the viewer’s eyes and tried to explain who we are and why we are what we are. I felt there was a need for that. With the overdose of communication, a lot is lost in translation and it cannot be left up on the viewer, who has so many things to do and so much to choose from.”
“It may be a personal bias but according to me, there is no substitute to direct communication. Otherwise, it leaves scope for heavy assumptions on either side and the potential losses can be significant. There are other forms of communication such as promos, which we make and play aggressively but we are very keen that the channel should start talking to its viewers. Ours is a space (general entertainment and broadcasting), where it is a very protracted and long term exchange where we don’t get a chance to speak to the viewers at all. The promos made are about the new show, not about the channel. All the communication is indirect, through the content created via soaps and dramas. Thus, despite having a clear channel philosophy what you stand for is never clearly communicated to the viewers.”
Coupled with the new launches, the channel further defines its philosophy through an ongoing television video as an anthem conceptualised by ad-guru Piyush Pandey and director Vishal Bhardwaj. A digital interactive engagement initiative titled, ‘Tu Hi Meri Star Viewer Initiative’. A fourth fiction show, ‘Maayke se bandhi…Dor’ is scheduled to launch in February 14, followed by fresh launches in March and April.
The campaign concept titled ‘Ode to the woman’ will have a 360 degrees presence across all mediums including radio, print and digital. As part of their on-ground and print initiative, Star Plus has also joined hands with leading Hindi daily of Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, Nai Dunia, as the Principal Sponsor for its women centric weekly activity Nayika Club. Named after the weekly women’s magazine ‘Nayika’, NaiDunia Nayika Club organises interactive sessions for ladies in different areas. With Star Plus partnering, it will now be spread over 13 towns of Madhya Pradesh.