STAR Gold is one of the key areas of focus for STAR India in 2005-06. According to the network’s COO, Sameer Nair, with Plus’ settling, all channels are getting more focus, and in the process, Gold, too, is earmarked to see a lot of action in months to come – the first noticeable one’s being the premiering of ‘Swades’ and ‘Black’.
Despite great success like ‘Main Hoon Na’ on Plus, STAR India has taken movies off from the GEC completely and has diverted all attention to Gold in terms of Hindi movies, which means that some of the biggest names will be premiered on the movie channel.
While ‘Swades’ will be premiered on the channel in August, the channel will air ‘Black’ in September. ‘Swades’ is slotted for an afternoon airing as a ‘Pure Gold’ premier. However, the channel still has to finalise details on whether a fixed slot would be created for its big premiers.
Giving an overview of the approach towards the channel at present, Nair explained that STAR was upping movie acquisitions and creating a good library for the channel, “We will buy as many movies as we can buy,” he said.
Is there a worry on return on investments, considering the base of a movie channel is seen to be a smaller one that a GEC? “The base is the same. In any case, we don’t want to take the easy way out by taking the movies to our weekends. That wouldn’t be a very ‘Mohan Bharghav’ (the lead protagonist of ‘Swades’) thing to do,” Nair remarked.
Nair’s remark gives an insight into Gold’s current marketing tactic. Just as much as the channel is promoting the movie, it is building a connect again between the character of the movie and the viewer, and this is substantiated well in the case of Swades.
“When the movie was released, it was Ashutosh Gowarikar presenting Shah Rukh Khan in ‘Swades’ – now it is STAR Gold presenting ‘Mohan Bharghav’,” Nair said.
Much of the communication revolves around this as well. STAR has initiated ‘Project Swades’, playing up the social values of the movie. Special creatives have been shot with Shah Rukh Khan and Ashutosh Gowarikar for the channel. Another set of creatives involve real life cases, reiterating the campaign base line ‘Kya Aap Mein Ek Mohan Bharghav hai’.
STAR will give the property ‘Project Swades’, a multi media treatment, in the course giving a whole new face to Gold as well. The look and feel of the channel have been upgraded.
The development is indeed a very interesting one as it means some more action in the Hindi movie genre, which in any case is witnessing substantial action at present. Whereas on the one hand, Zee Cinema, the category leader is comparing itself to mass channels based on the performance of the channel, MAX is going to have a campaign soon on the upcoming cricketing season.
However, STAR is confident of the way forward. “There is quite a lot we are doing. We will take One ahead of Sony by November and make Gold the No 1 Hindi movie channel by December,” affirmed Nair.