Hits of Sab TV and Misses of Sony Pal

Multi Screen Media’s, SAB TV, a channel that is focused towards family comedy entertainment with a core brand promise of ‘Asli Mazaa SAB ke Saath Hai’ has always stood high with its impressive lineup of innovative programs and light-hearted content ranging from daily family comedy to path breaking concepts like silent comedy. 

Very recently the channel with an aim to adhere to its brand promise released an engaging brand film, #DigitalDividesSABUnites. The brand film brings to light a very existing phenomenon faced and witnessed by families today, that of the digital world encroaching their personal lives but there is always some common thread that gets the family together.  Not only that but the channel is also geared up with an exclusive line up of shows for the year which starts with Betaal Aur Sinhasan Battisi in March.  

To get a deeper understanding of the new brand propositioning and its way forward, Adgully caught up with Anooj Kapoor Senior EVP and Business Head, SAB TV, the man behind SAB TV’s success. As we all know Kapoor also held additional responsibilities of a new channel from Multi Screen Media’s bouquet, Sony Pal that was launched last September. Kapoor also shared few insights about Sony Pal’s challenging phase and its way forward.

Campaign Insights: 

The delightfully satirical film shows a joint family living together but everyone is busy on some gadget or the other. In spite of all the family members being together there’s no conversation, everyone is focused on chatting on their phones, playing games, surfing the net, listening to music with earphones plugged in…  The film features the father of the family singing a song and narrating the grievance through it, at the end even after the commotion, everyone is still glued on to their device. This is when, he mentions latest update and character from SAB shows and everyone joins in to comment over it.

Speaking about the thought behind the campaign, Kapoor said, “Since we re-positioned the channel six years ago, we wanted to define the channel’s positioning with something that is not only unique but that could take the channel’s philosophy ahead in an innovative way. We have been trying to push and convey the channel’s thought to the consumers in the best possible way thus re-assuring them that we are not deviating from the brand promise of the channel.”

The channel that has always taken ahead the philosophy of ‘Asli Maza Sab Ke Saath aata hai’, had long ago created one interesting brand-film wherein a kid gets a toffee from school and he goes home and divides the same in 6 pieces and shares it with everybody and now again with this new brand-film too they are seen re-inventing and strengthening the philosophy and brand promise.

Speaking about the reason behind launching brand films, he said, “In the GEC space there are very few channels that do Brand advertisements however in our case doing brand advertisements  has helped us mark our position in the cluttered space. We have a loyal audience for the channel apart from the shows. Hypothetically a lot of channels have show loyal audience but not channel loyal audiences. However in SAB’s case, our endeavor of re-enforcing brand thought in viewer’s hearts and minds have helped us create a loyal channel base.”

In few days, the brand film views on YouTube have reached half-a-million mark and generated intense conversations on #DigitalDividesSABUnites. The media mix included TV, DTH, Cinema Halls, Digital and On Ground Events. The channel has launched an interesting contest which urges audience to share unpleasant experiences as a result of imprudent usage of mobiles and social media during family and friends get-togethers.  

SAB TV’s Growth:

Interestingly, despite increasing fragmentation and noise levels in the GEC space and with only 17 hours of original content as compared to other GECs the channel still continues to not only hold its ratings but also continues to be a profitable channel.

As he mentioned that the channel is quite profitable, though Kapoor was not able to share the figures but stressed upon the fact that 2014 was one of the best years for SAB and the growth of the channel has also been quite encouraging. An industry insider pointed out that SAB has the best ROI (Return on Investment) in the industry.

Promising 2015 & set of new shows:

To strengthen the same, the channel is geared up with a new line up of shows which starts with its upcoming show in March, Betaal Aur Sinhasan Battisi. Created by Creative Eye Ltd and produced by Dheeraj Kumar and Zuby Kochhar, Betaal Aur Sinhasan Battisi will feature grand looking sets and majestic special effects to do complete justice to the historical characters. 

Speaking about the show, Kapoor said, “SAB TV’s unique proposition has always been differentiation through innovation. Betaal Aur Sinhasan Battisi show is a wholesome family entertainer which showcases a comical dimension to the challenges faced by Raja Bhoj courtesy the ever-troublesome Betaal”.

The show is set to air from 10th March at 7:30pm on SAB TV, so when asked to share his thoughts about the time-slot, Kapoor said, “As 7.30 pm slot had no original content we thought of strengthening that slot and hence we are launching this show at 7.30 pm slot.”

Well, as of now the channel is focused towards strengthening the 7.30 pm slot but if the need be they will also look at strengthening other time bands may that be early prime time or any other.

Though channel has nailed down plans for weekends too but that will only be executed post IPL. “Going forward this year we will be looking at producing 3 hours of original content on weekends and we have a very interesting show line – up but all the action will happen post IPL only,” Kapoor added. 

Hits and Misses at Sony Pal:

Sony Pal that had gone on-air on 1st September 2014, with the tagline ‘Yeh Pal Hamara Hai’, indeed inspired every Indian woman with the promise of liveliness and cheer. Adding to the elegance was the graceful Juhi Chawla as the face of Sony Pal.

Recently, there were reports in the media that six month old Sony Pal is going to go off air. However industry experts pointed out that the channel will be taking a breather for a while. In an attempt to revive its fortune a decision has been taken whereby the channel will be available on DD Direct hence the viewers will get to see the shows of both Sony Entertainment Television and SAB TV.

As the viewers in this case have neither seen SAB TV programming nor Sony Pal programming, hence the custodians thought of giving them a combination of both.

An industry expert clarified the stance of showing repeats on Sony Pal and said, “Today every channel has a sister channel which airs all repeat shows. As of now, they are showing content mix of both channels from 6pm to 12pm.”

When asked about plans to revive the channel, Kapoor said, “Once we start getting substantial revenues we will start building and strengthening original content on the channel. We never wanted to aggressively invest at the cost of bleeding hence we are waiting for the right time to hit the right chord.”

With this step, they have made a very cautious move and Kapoor believes once they attain enough GRPs and marketers’ interest then they will look at investing in original content and may be able to make it as profitable as SAB eventually. 

Armed with the above information we probed further on the turbulent journey of Sony Pal, a marketer on the condition of anonymity shared that the channel did not invest much in marketing of the channel either before the launch or after the launch. Unlike a new GEC which is about to launch in few days has marketing budget ten times of what Sony Pal spent. He also pointed out that the channel was also not available in various markets, neither did they have any test signals.

The channel is just 6 month old and has a long way to go. If right strategies and thoughts are put in place, the channel will be able to garner desired results, opined the marketer. |By: Aanchal Kohli | Twitter: @aanchalkohli



News in the domain of Advertising, Marketing, Media and Business of Entertainment

More in