Re-energising Comedy

Submitted by admin on Sat, 06/17/2017 - 16:58

SONY SAB has unveiled a new brand identity with a new logo, tagline and a new line up of comedy shows. The family humour channel aims to engage with the youth, consolidate its presence in Western India and strengthen its reach in the North.

When Neeraj Vyas, Sr. EVP & Head, Sony Sab and Max cluster of channels took over as business head of Sony Sab in February, his first action plan was - to find a fresh purpose for the brand, widen the viewership base with the impetus being on engaging the youth and refreshing the look of the channel. The result - a new avatar for the comedy entertainment channel from the Sony Pictures Networks India (SPN) that was unveiled on June 13 with a colourful new logo and tagline, Haste Raho India. What remains unchanged is Sony Sab’s positioning. Says Vyas, “We have been the pioneers of comedy and that’s the positioning we enjoy in this hugely cluttered jungle of GECs. We take pride in our positioning of being the happiness channel and the onus is on us to technically grow the audience.”

 

Being Contemporary


The revamp was also necessitated to keep pace with the consumer tastes. Explaining the rationale behind the revamp, NP Singh, ‎CEO, Sony Pictures Networks India says, “Every brand has to stay with the times. We felt this was the right time, after 10 years, to refresh the brand and infuse fresh energy to make it more contemporary and that’s the objective for rebranding.”


The need to refresh and contemporize the brand also meant defining the vision and purpose of the brand. According to Vyas, “To get the map right in terms of what exactly we wanted to do was the real challenge. Once we figured the focus, everything fell in place and it took us many meetings to get the creative right.” The “Young and energetic” actor Varun Dhawan has been roped in as a Happiness Ambassador for Sony Sab. The brand has unleashed a 360-degree marketing campaign, the biggest by Sony Sab in the last decade, sending out a message to the advertisers on what’s new on the channel.


Tuning Into The Youth


What also differentiates Sony Sab from other GECs is the strong loyalty that the brand has among male viewers. The aim now is clearly to engage with the youth with content tailored to appeal to this TG without abandoning its current family viewer base. Vyas says that the trick is to get the right balance between male and female viewers, ideally in the ratio of around 60:40.
Sony Sab has traditionally been strong in the Western markets of India, particularly Gujarat, and the emphasis is now on strengthening the brand in other areas. Says Singh, “In the last couple of years we have made significant distribution investments across markets. This will impact the reach of this channel and the repositioning and re-launch will help it further and the new content will also help build the reach.” He adds, “Geographically, the Western markets are where the channel does really well. We will consolidate our strong presence in these markets and will strengthen our reach in the northern markets - primarily in the states of Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh – that is what we are focusing on.”


Fresher Content


With a new identity, all the old shows, barring the long running 'Taarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashmah’, will make way for an all new line up with the new shows being directed towards the youth. The new shows include the recently launched ‘Sajjan Re Phir Jhoot Mat Bolo’, ‘TV, Biwi Aur Main’ and the upcoming line up of shows includes ‘Tenali Rama’, ‘Shankar JayKishan, 3-in-1’ and ‘Aadat Se Majboor’. The shows will be launched in a phased manner with all shows being on-air by August 10 in the prime time slot of 7:30pm – 10:30pm. “In the past we have launched too many shows and that was an issue. That’s why we are slow with what we are doing and want to get it right. In the times to come, we will hopefully be very happy not to launch more than three to four shows in a year,” says Vyas. However, crowd favourite 'Taarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashmah’ could also see new entrants as Vyas believes the show would need to introduce some youthful characters to be in sync with the channel’s new outlook.


However, with major GECs extending the programming time band to early evening, and even opening up the afternoon slot, Sony Sab is taking a “prudent” approach and will consider opening new time bands later this year or early next year. As for the weekend offering, which is likely to be on-air by the year-end, the focus is on creating differentiated content, non-fiction shows that are totally distinct from the fare currently being broadcast.

 

As for expectations from the revamp, Singh says, “Sony Sab is already a very strong brand in the market and has always been among the top five channels. In the next one year it will become stronger as we consolidate and strengthen our reach.”

Category: 
Volume No: 
14
Issue No: 
2