50% of Colors Tamil viewers are aged below 30: Ravish Kumar, Viacom18

Viacom18's Colors Tamil has completed one year. Ravish Kumar, Head, Regional Entertainment, Viacom18, talks about the channel’s journey, factors that led to its growth, marketing plans and more

e4m by Neethu Mohan
Updated: Feb 19, 2019 8:37 AM

Viacom18 launched Colors Tamil on February 19, 2018 with an aim to accelerate their regional expansion plans. Within the span of one year, Colors Tamil has attained enormous growth and strong impression in the Tamil Nadu market which is dominated by Sun Group.

In a conversation with exchange4media, Ravish Kumar, Head, Regional Entertainment, Viacom18, spoke about the channel’s journey so far, the factors that led to the growth, their marketing plans etc.

Here is the edited excerpt:

One year of Colors Tamil, how has the journey been so far?

Entering a market like Tamil Nadu is a formidable challenge for any new entrant and we are happy to have made a strong impression as a challenger brand. Our growth is across all platforms, be it television ratings, digital views or social media buzz. We are clearly identified as a progressive, relatable channel that stands for high-quality experience.   

Within a short span of time, Colors Tamil is counted among the top 5 Tamil channels. What are the factors that contributed to this growth?

To have secured our place among the top 5 channels consistently has been possible due to our focus on providing a new content experience to the viewer. Based in hinterlands, our content is socially relevant, our characters are believable and their emotions are real & relatable. This makes our channel distinct from competitors. We have taken up issues like honour killing and skin colour discrimination and are now branching into issues faced by the traditional weaver community. We have also repackaged popular Viacom18 stories like Agnisakshi and Lakshmi Baramma and presented it to our audience with a strong local connect.

Add to this, equity drivers and highly disruptive non-fiction content, be it Enga Veetu Mapillai with actor Arya or the recently launched Dance Vs Dance, which brings highest forms of production values and performance quality to the Tamil audience.

According to BARC India, youth contributes 33% viewership to total TV viewership. What are the extra efforts put by Colors Tamil to reach out to that generation?

All our lead female protagonists are in the age group of 24-30 years which makes them highly relatable to the millennials.  Our channel has a stronger young people contribution. Almost 50% of our viewership comes from viewers in the age group of less than 30-years. For Tamil GEC, the less than 30-year-old age group is 42%. Our non-fiction content is also highly attractive to the millennials, be it from urban or rural parts of Tamil Nadu. Our growing consumption on Voot also is driven by a young target audience.

The growth of regional channels has opened new opportunities for advertisers. Still the advertisement rates in this segment have not matched up to the growth. What are your thoughts?

While regional advertisers see value in our offerings and give higher ER, the national advertisers need to understand the might of regional markets and their importance.  

Throw some light on the Colors Tamil viewers outside India? Is there any special programmes catering to NRI audience?

We are available in Malaysia and Singapore currently, and on-ground reports say that there is a positive traction to the brand. Our dance show has a contestant from France and our upcoming singing show is seeing high number of entrees from Singapore and Malaysia. We will be adding more countries to our portfolio in 2019.

How much has Colors Tamil grown as a brand?

After a promising start, we have developed a loyal organic audience base who are loving our stories and continue to watch us every day. Our social media fan base has tripled in the past three months. With a series of new shows getting added to our pipeline, we are certain that this is only going to further our brand perception and bring in newer audiences.

Which has been the biggest marketing plan for Colors Tamil in this one year

After a spectacular channel launch with our tagline “Namma Ooru Coloru”, every new launch has been important to us. In addition to traditional marketing, we have done a lot of innovations like, Namma Ooru Coloru where we looked for the best couple in each district through a game show format.

In addition, we have forged partnerships with Behindwoods, Galatta, Kavasam to do on-ground events. We have also been doing monthly canter activity in all the districts of Tamil Nadu.

Tamil Nadu market is the largest regional market in the country. What are the marketing and advertising strategies followed by Colors Tamil?

We had a spectacular launch in February 2018. We used traditional mass marketing media vehicles as a primary marketing strategy namely, Print, Radio, Hoarding and cross channels promotions along with innovative marketing activities such as making rangolis outside all doorsteps in key markets. Tamil Nadu has a strong penetration of television, especially news channels, and we have successfully integrated them into our marketing efforts by doing show break bumpers and count down with Colors Tamil logo on prime time.

On digital, we have done various activities to keep high levels of engagement. Tweet-up and meet social media influencers, Facebook Live, online engagements, artist interviews exclusive for our social media & YouTube channels, snippets and vignettes to keep the momentum high. We have also associated with various women-based ground events to enable sampling of our content & promote our artists through events and live integrations.

TRAI's new regulation tariff is coming on effect from March. According to you, what are the ways in which new TRAI rules benefits the consumers and channels?

It will bring the emphasis back on content and consumer. For storytellers like us, it is a great news as we will put in more efforts to delight the consumers and retain them.

What are the game plans for 2019?

We intend to build on our promising one year with more differentiated fiction offerings touching on real emotions and continuing with socially relevant programming. We shall continue to offer reality shows done as never before and premiere movies as well. We are also expanding our original hours of prime time programming and opening a morning slots too. From a marketing perspective, we want to build a strong on ground connect with small and big events and on-ground activation.


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