Effective December 11, English movie channel ZEE MGM has garbed itself in new attire. The aim? To shake off its fuddy-duddy image. It has brought back the Lion, with MGM's old baseline, 'Lion's share of Hollywood'.
Says Ajay Trigunayat, Vice President - ZEE MGM & ZEE English, "We have changed the entire look. Music, glitz and glamour are now in tune with the image we want to create for the channel. Graphics that come before every movie are also very high impact now."
Though the channel adopted a complete new look on December 11th, it has been going through a gradual process of change since September. Says Rohinton Maloo, Head, Cutting Edge Media, who handles ad sales for the channel - "Overall transformation happened on 11th December. The change has been introduced not only in the content, but also the look and feel of the channel. And it is not as sudden as everything changing in one day. A gradual change has been taking place since September".
The change, explains Trigunayat, is the outcome of audience research conducted by the channel, "Our viewer research indicates that audience enjoy unknown and unreleased movies as well, and not only the ones which have already been released in theatres in the country. The survey also showed increasing popularity of masala and action movies on English movie channels". And hence the channel is looking at a wider range of movies now, and plans to look beyond prime time and provide a good movie at any point in time. Says Trigunayat, "It is a different experience altogether. It is a real change and not a symbolic one". After a lot of deliberation, the channel now plans to air movies from other studios on a regular basis.
Movies from specific genres are being shown on various weekdays. Hence the movies on various weekdays are branded differently, for instance, Romantic Mondays, Thrilling Thursdays, Sizzling Saturdays etc. ZEE MGM is also experimenting with horror movies and comedies.
Media fraternity believes that change in programming will have a positive impact. However, they stress on the need on the channel's part to promote itself more aggressively. "Changes look good and promising. However I do not think there are too may people aware of these changes. The changes have not been publicised well. Thus it need not convert into TVRs." Says Partha Ghosh, Group Channel Planning Director, Initiative Media.
And according Srikant Raman of Carat, "Definitely any movie channel, whether language or English only runs on titles, the bigger the title, bigger will be the audience. However Zee MGM has not been able capture the audience's mind space as a channel of big titles..! They might be bringing big titles like Traffic, but somehow Star Movies and HBO with their very aggressive marketing communications have captured the audience's mind space as far as big titles are concerned. Zee MGM just hasn't done that."
As if tuned into their thinking, the channel plans to do exactly the same. Says Maloo, "The changes were brought in to keep visual fatigue at bay. We have not only improved the look and feel, we would also be promoting it heavily. Now that MGM has wider distribution in the country, it has confidence to invest more."
And says Trigunayat, "We have introduced an absolutely new on-air packaging, which includes branding, marketing and programming all. We are, now providing the consumers a completely new audio-visual experience."