&Pictures will stake claim to a greater share of the viewership pie: Ruchir Tiwari
On 11 October, &Pictures refreshed its tagline from ‘Sapnon Ki Udaan’ to ‘On Nahin, Full On Karo’ taking on a much more energetic, colorful and youthful brand personality. Based on the insight ‘In a world that uncertain, why stop myself from immersing fully in what I do’ the new slogan was accompanied by high decibel marketing campaign featuring four promos that are being promoted on their social handles and TV.
The channel was launched in 2013 and completes seven years in the TV broadcast space this year. Their curated line up of films in their programming for the next few weeks includes flashy titles like ‘Bumblebee’, ‘Jawaani Jaaneman’, ‘Dream Girl’, ‘Good Newwz’, ‘Bloodshot’, ‘Jumanji: The Next Level’ and many more in the thriller, action-adventure and entertainment genres. They are also planning to launch their original production ‘Footfairy’ in a direct-to-TV release on 24 October.
Among the top 5 Hindi movie channels according to BARC TV ratings, the channel is taking aggressive steps to position itself as a youth brand.
In conversation with Adgully, Ruchir Tiwari, Business Head, Zee Hindi Movies Cluster speaks about the tagline refresh, youth positioning and their new film ‘Footfairy’.
Why do you feel the channel needed to refresh its tagline ‘Sapnon Ki Udaan’?
We are completing seven years now. The journey began with a focus on the youth mindset and that relationship has been built over five years and we have a strong youth following. The idea was to re-engage with these audiences and strengthen our relationship as well as add more millennials to our bandwagon.
This demographic is more restless and lives in the present. They are very active on social media where we have done most of the engagement for the channel. We’re trying to bring this new experience with a new design. The design of the channel lends a lot more energy and hence the tag line ‘On Nahi, Full On’.
Even as a young channel we have a 9-10% market share in Hindi movies. With this tagline refresh, we can aggressively stake claim to a greater share of the viewership pie. The marketing buzz and brand ethos are aligned to give tough competition to the top three Hindi movie channels. This is the only channel in our portfolio that is backed by such an enormous marketing push.
Is movie content the way to bring younger audiences to the TV screens? What genres are you looking at?
Movies, serials and dramas are the most consumed long format content on TV. These are the categories that really drive viewership currently and in the future. With &TV which is in the TV space, we are exploring a regional expansion. In the movie space, whether it is channels like ‘&xplor’ or &flix, the viewership comes organically from a sharply acquired content library.
Acquisition of content is based on the type of channel and matching cinema and not the genre of content itself. &flix has a lot of newer films and Hollywood titles. &PriveHD has a lot of nuanced films. &Pictures’ strategy is the mass formula. Our endeavor is to showcase as many new films and that’s the strength of the channel.
A lot of youth brands are building their presence on social. How do you feel about leveraging social as a media brand?
It is just a game of promotion and reaching the consumer. There is an overlap in the TV audience and digital audience, and so much data consumption is happening that half of the TV viewers consumes content on digital platforms. So, automatically digital platforms become a great medium in terms of promotion.
You’re launching a film ‘Footfairy’ on 24 October which is a direct-to-TV release. Will you explore more direct-to-TV opportunities in the future?
The cinema pay-per-view model, TV model and digital model will all continue. Every year, we think of making a few films as a brand because &Pictures and Zee Cinema combined have the highest movie viewership. Feasibility and monetization models aside, original content is a good thing for a brand. Launching ‘Footfairy’ is more of a brand initiative than a business initiative. We will look at doing a couple of original films every year but not on a month on month basis.
With GECs they have their own shows and exclusive programming. Will movie channels where programming is largely acquired content start producing more original films direct-to-TV?
No, I think the theatre window is here to stay. Movies will be made for theatre and will be accompanied by ancillary platforms. Understand that all three mediums, Cinemas, TV and Digital are three different universes and what viewers prefer is an individual choice.
When you say a certain film is a digital friendly or TV kind of film, it is because of the preference of the audience on that platform. That’s why we see Diwali, Christmas and Eid films. The filters are there only because the audience pools are divided and I think for film all three mediums will have their own set of audiences.