Ad revenue in south TV market growing in double digits: Raghavendra Hunsur, Zee Kannada

Raghavendra Hunsur, Business Head, Zee Kannada, talks about the channel’s new brand identity, his journey with the channel by far, plans for 2019 and more.

e4m by Neethu Mohan
Updated: Nov 22, 2018 8:31 AM

Zee Kannada unveiled a new brand proposition and identity in the first week of November and launched its HD channel. The network has revealed that its new brand proposition, ‘Bayasid'dha Bāgilu Tegiyōṇa’ that translates to ‘open doors to possibilities’, is aimed to inspire viewers, especially women, to take initiatives and rise above circumstances to craft their own destiny.

In conversation with exchange4media, Raghavendra Hunsur, Business Head, Zee Kannada, spoke about the channel’s new brand identity, his journey with the channel by far, plans for 2019 and more.

Edited Excerpts:

Zee Kannada has undergone a brand refresh in the first week of November. What are the objectives behind this?
In the past 12 years, Zee Kannada has emerged as one of the dominant players in the Kannada GEC market, offering wholesome entertainment for the entire family. With the evolving market trends and consumer preference, it was only natural for us to develop a refreshed outlook that resonates with the audience of today across age groups. We undertook extensive research to understand the pulse of the audience, and based on this research, crafted our new brand philosophy, keeping every Kannadiga at the heart of our new positioning. Our research indicated the changing mindsets of the ambitious Kannadiga wanting to break free from the things that are holding them back in life and keeping them stuck; wanting to thrive and become the architect of their own life.

Building on this consumer sentiment and the core purpose of opening doors to possibilities by overcoming the limits of their mind, we crafted our new brand proposition 'Bayasid'dha Bāgilu Tegiyōṇa', which translates to ‘Open doors to possibilities”, to inspire our viewers, especially women, to rise above their circumstances and craft their own destiny. Synonymous with the Kannada pride, Zee Kannada will help women break the limits of their mind with progressive and onward-looking content featuring bold and strong-willed women characters who go beyond the ordinary to achieve the extraordinary.

The new brand philosophy will be reflected across Zee Kannada’s both existing and upcoming shows through our characters, concepts, narratives and content bouquet catering to every age group in the family

You took over the role of Business Head in 2015. How has the journey been in these three years?

Having been associated with the brand for over four years, beginning as the Programming Head and then as Deputy Business Head, I have held several roles and responsibilities in the channel. While every turn has been expectedly challenging in nurturing Zee Kannada, I am delighted to be a part of Zee Kannada’s growth, adorning a refreshed brand image. With many more milestones that are to come in the years ahead, we will continue to engage with our audiences and help them create numerous possibilities for themselves.

Tell us about the advertising and marketing strategy followed by Zee Kannada across the rural and urban market?

The campaign breaks with an extensive multimedia plan across television, trade, print, radio, outdoor, mobile, cable, digital and on-ground events for over eight weeks, covering the length and breadth of Karnataka – all 30 districts-, including eight major towns, ensuring a top-of-mind recall in the minds of the audience. The promotional strategy also includes brand refresh teasers, a brand film, and four fiction promos that bring alive the brand promise.

According to you, what are the major changes in the viewership pattern in Kannada GEC in the last five years?

Karnataka undoubtedly has been one of the fastest growing GEC markets in the country after the HSM. The region currently boasts of hosting all four national players with over 11 GECs, according to data from Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) India, therefore emerging as one of the most competitive markets to survive in. In terms of advertising, the south is nearly a ₹5,700-crore market and Kannada alone is estimated to be at ₹600-700 crore. Kannada GEC witnessed an increase of 10% in Week 8-28, from 1894 GRPs in the year 2017 to 2077 GRPs in 2018. The market continues to be an important TV viewing market with an increase of 16% in Week 8-28, with viewers spending an average of 1 hour 26 minutes in 2017 to 2 hours 15 minutes in the year 2018. People spend 4 hours 25 minutes watching TV per day in the Kannada language, as opposed to 3 hours and 37 minutes in Hindi.

Over the years, the southern TV market has witnessed a robust growth. What according to you are the major factors attributed to the growth?

Over the years, several national channels have set foot in the southern market and have launched regional content catering to this burgeoning television audience. Aspects to consider for the growth include the fact that south India, on an average, spends over 4 hours on TV every day and a recent survey by BARC shows that 95% of homes in the region have a TV set with the number of TV-owning individuals in the five southern states--Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka, and Kerala, being at 259 million, an 8% increase from 2016. The south Indian region generates viewership of around 12 billion impressions weekly with 31% of the TV individuals in the south contributing to 40% of the total TV viewership. The survey also points out that the advertising revenue in the south is growing in double digits and the bulk of the advertisers are national, especially in the fast-moving consumer goods category.

Recognising this potential early on, ZEEL entered the Southern region way back in May 2005. Zee Kannada was launched in 2006 and has grown from strength to strength delivering content deeply rooted in the socio & cultural ethos and backed by strong consumer insights.


What are Zee Kannada’s plans for 2019?

Echoing the new brand positioning of Zee Kannada, the channel will undergo a transformation with the key existing fiction and non-fiction shows that include Kamali, Brahmagantu, Jodi Hakki, Subbalakshmi Samsara, Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Season 15, Shree Vishnu Dashavatara, and soon-to-be-launched Paru and Aatma Bandhana.

With the launch of the HD channel, Zee Kannada is certain to bring stories to life with increased creativity.

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