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60% of our new subscribers are coming from regional markets: Anurag Kumar

Tata Sky recently rolled out its latest campaign – ‘Har Ghar Ki Khidki’. The TVC has been conceptualised and created by Ogilvy India and the social media campaign has been designed and executed by its digital marketing agency Chimp&Z.

While the pandemic period and lockdown saw a major shift to digital media for content consumption, the way people connect with their TV sets has not changed. It may be recalled that during the lockdown period last year. Tata Sky had released a campaign on converting the homes of 2 crore of its subscribers into cinema halls. For this, Tata Sky partnered with ZeePlex to enable its 2 crore subscriber base to convert their homes into cinema halls and watch new movie releases straight on their TV sets in their homes at their time and convenience.

As per TRAI’s ‘The Indian Telecom Services Performance Indicators’ data for the January-March’20 quarter, Tata Sky clocked a market share of 32.33% and a growth of 2.1% in the quarter ending March’20.

In conversation with Adgully, Anurag Kumar, Chief Communications Officer, Tata Sky, speaks at length about the ‘Har Ghar Ki Khidki’ campaign and the brand’s efforts to strengthen its positioning in the market.

What led to the current brand purpose and what was the brief for the campaign?

The brand purpose conveys that Tata Sky exists to ‘make tomorrow better than today’ for homes and families. That’s a statement that we crafted after a fairly long process we follow internally. The reason we wanted to do this exercise was because we felt we already had a strong set of values. Tata Sky started in 2006; it was not the first pay TV operator in the country as cable TV was already there, but today in 2021 we are the No. 1 DTH player and pay TV platform. There were obviously a few things we did right to get here. There were a set of organisational values and culture, but what had not been done was actually define a clear purpose statement, which was about saying ‘when we are at our best, what is it that we do well?’ or ‘what is it that we live up to?’

We went through this journey of writing that statement down. We spoke to a lot of customers and employees across the company and found that this statement (Make tomorrow better than today) seems to be truest to what we do on a regular basis. And that’s how we arrived at our corporate statement.

The next challenge was to translate this into something that was consumer facing. We worked with our advertising agency Ogilvy to craft the brief, which was all about ‘how do TV and Tata Sky help improve customer’s life on a day to day basis’. The creative idea which was arrived by at Ogilvy was that people always watch a screen for consumer entertainment, what if we switch that perspective to see the screen look at the person or people who are viewing it. We called it ‘khidki’ or window and the rest of it flowed quite naturally. The film depicts people in front of the television and going through a set of emotions like togetherness, camaraderie, happiness, which is powered by Tata Sky. That’s how the campaign has come around.

What is the objective of this campaign exercise?

After we defined that brand purpose, the idea was to convert that into consumer facing communication. This gave us an opportunity to establish a slightly more emotional connect. The typical language of the category has been rational arguments presented to the customer. The entire communication is about the perspective of the people on the other side of the screen. We believe these emotional moments are what people fundamentally tune in to entertainment and content viewing for.

The ‘khidki’ idea will be translated into a whole new look and feel for the brand which will give us greater branding and recognition going ahead.

Why haven’t you brought on board a brand ambassador for the campaign?

After we defined the purpose, the entire focus was to bring the home and families at the forefront. The idea was to make it about them; audience first. In this case, we were fairly clear at the outset that it would be about real people and not about celebrities. Our customers are the stars of this campaign.

The brand purpose implies that you are constantly improving your service. So, how do you embody this brand purpose?

When we launched in 2006, we had less than a 100 channels which were broadcast, today we have more than 600 channels and services. Obviously, OTT is a new addition as that technology didn’t even exist earlier. Tata Sky Binge is an OTT product where we aggregate content from 10 apps. Few years after we started operations in India, we came up with the recording box. The recording box was the first in the sub-continent; nobody had done it till then. You could literally take live TV and pause it, forward it, go back to where you had left it. That was a big innovation. Few years later, we realised that people also wanted to watch entertainment from the mobile screen and we launched the Tata Sky mobile app, which showcased live TV channels and on demand content. They could manage their accounts, subscriptions and recharges from the app. In fact, you can currently watch Tata Sky across any screen.

We brought these innovations because it helped improve the life of the customer. Whenever we have done that, people have realised that Tata Sky is a company they want to engage with. That’s where the purpose came from and this statement will be true five years, 10 years, and 20 years down the line.

Tell us about the marketing campaign?

There is the television commercial as you’ve seen. We’re also looking at social media in a big way. We have an engagement planned for Instagram, where we ask people to post their own candid moment when they are watching television and overlay the song that we have via Instagram Reels. We’re also getting influencers to do the same. We’re also looking at other mediums going forward such as YouTube, Facebook, print, and outdoor. Those plans are yet to be finalised. Television and social media are live as we speak. Our target is to reach 75% of our target audience in the next month. We define our audience as Men Category ABC All India 25+.

Your campaigns have always launched in multiple languages. Do these language markets represent a major market for Tata Sky? Is the growth of DTH subscribers rising in the language markets?

We are seeing a lot of growth coming from the rural markets. 60% of our new additions are coming from regional markets. The popularity of DTH in general and of Tata Sky has increased in the regional markets. Even if it was not about regional markets, India is a diverse country and we have typically creative national campaigns in the local language as well. So, this particular campaign has been launched in Hindi and seven more languages (four South languages, Bengali, Oriya, and Marathi). This appeals to audiences whose mother tongue is not Hindi. The campaign will run for six weeks, but we will come back at a later stage to find ways and means to run the campaign in different mediums.

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