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Zoom-up, close and personal: set to hit Indian tube on Sept 17

10-September-2004
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Zoom-up, close and personal: set to hit Indian tube on Sept 17

Zoom is set to make its mark on Indian television and the proposed date is September 17. Even though the channel officials are still in the process of finalising this date, sources inform that even if there is a change, it would advance or postpone the launch by barely a few days.

As far as the details of the channel like programming, distribution and people are concerned, from the looks, everything seems quite in place.

Programming

As is known, Zoom's programming constitutes of non-fiction content, where apart from commissioned and in-house programmes, it will also feature vignettes, song-based programmes and syndicated international programming. But the channel claims that the real differentiator comes in execution factors like intentional use of underexposed celebrities, celebrities used out of their usual context and the usage of international format, that haven't been used in the Indian market yet.

The channel has planned prime-time programming in the 8.00 pm to 12.00 pm band currently. A look at Zoom's programming and the personality that the channel is trying to create for itself becomes clearer. The proposed content offers comedy, interactivity, pull factors like a chance to meet celebrities, appear in item songs etc, lifestyle and fashion - all aiming to attract the Indian youth.

Most of the shows on the channel would be half-hour weeklies. These would include two Balaji shows, 'Kosmiic Chat' and 'Kyaa Kahein'. The others in the list are The Manish Malhotra Show on fashion and lifestyle, Star Struck hosted by Rakshanda Khan on celebrities, 'Ek Rahin Vir' with stand up comedian Vir Das, 'Dance Divas', 'Music Idols' and 'Main Hoon'.

The channel is looking at the Monday-to-Friday format for shows like Page 3. The other half hour dailies would include a film-based show, 'Friday Fever'. The one-hour weeklies include 'Mirchi Top 20', 'Not just Page 3' and 'Har Dil Jo Love Karega'.

The channel is experimenting with scheduling considerably where it has planned interactive 60-minute shows like 'Dangerous' on three days a week, 'Is route Ki Sabhi Linein Mast Hai' as 4 days a week, half-hourly and 'The Big Nite', a two-hour show, on forthcoming movies which would play once a month.

The channel's music-based shows would include 'Lambretta', 'Boley Toh', 'RDX', 'Zoom Chakachak' and 'Zoom Theatres'. Apart from this, the channel also has quite a few vignette shows.

Marketing

Zoom is definitely looking at a 360-degree marketing approach making its presence through all the mediums. The channel will make its share of noise through radio, web, events, print, cinema and outdoors. For all mediums, it will largely use the resources of the Times Group.

The outdoor campaign was released earlier this week. If the creatives of the campaign so far are anything to go by, the channel does already flaunt a sleek upmarket look.

Positioning and Distribution

Looking at the channel more closely, Times Group has placed it in the segment that they identify as a gap in Indian entertainment of an aspirational Hindi channel. Consequently, Zoom has positioned itself as a 'Dreams n Spice' channel, where apart from aspirational quality in its programming, the channel aims at providing a proactive connect with celebrities.

In terms of demographics, the channel is looking at SEC A and B, CS 15-34. Dividing its psychographics in lifestyle and personality, the channel is looking at trendy, brand-conscious, well-groomed, socially mobile and well-travelled people, who are out-going and liberal, independent and aware.

The channel is focussing on 1-millionn-plus towns with 10 primary markets, which include the likes of Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata and Bangalore and eight secondary markets which range from Surat and Baroda to Bhopal and Indore. For its distribution, Zoom has laid emphasis on three factors - penetration, placement and pricing. The roll out plan of the channel begins with the 35 one-million-plus towns and intends to cover 28 million CS households in one year of its launch.

Perhaps for the first time Indian television would see a battle between non-fiction and fiction. Battleground is just getting ready!

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