With a new bright Blue logo, a new tag line- 'Umeed Se Saje Zindagi for all its channels (except the sports channels) and new corporate brand identity, change is in the air for Zee TV . This change comes after a gap of six years, a period in which the Rs 29,700 crore television sector itself has undergone dramatic changes and the reach has exploded with 130 million TV households and lot more platforms to capture eyeballs.
Brand experts say that channels usually go in for re-branding when they need to signal some changes as far as the inherent brand value is concerned. However, there are other factors at work as well. In some cases, when brands get old and lose their connect with the audiences, a makeover helps them get a fresh lease of life and project a more modern image.
A year back when Star Plus went in for a re-branding it was to comeback to the numero uno position on the GEC roster. Star Plus had been the number one GEC channel for nine years since its launch in 2000. But, post the debut of Viacom18's Colors in 2008, it had slipped to the number two and then number three spot. It took Star Plus some time to fight back, but the moment it spruced up its prime time line-up with some new shows and it was back at its no.1 position.
"The re-launch that we undertook a year ago has put us back on the saddle and on an annual basis we are 35-40 per cent ahead of any other channel in the Hindi GEC space," says Uday Shankar, CEO Star India.
Experts say that behind every re-branding exercise lies the intention to increase viewership. But in order to achieve that, a good branding exercise needs to be backed by compelling content.
Take for instance the case of Multi Screen Media's GEC channel Sony TV which undertook a re-branding and makeover in 2009. The channel launched new graphical elements in its brand imagery, a new signature tune and a massive advertising campaign to announce its new looks spending crores in the process. The channel also launched as many as seven new shows to mark the change. However, except for celebrity reality show Dus Ka Dum hosted by Bollywood actor Salman Khan, all of them failed to succeed and were soon taken off air. Following that in January 2010, the channel announced its exclusive content tie-up with Yash Raj Films TV, but this time again the shows failed to attract the attention of viewers. The reason being they are very metro centric shows and the mass Indian TV audience for these channels are based in the hinter lands.
However, Goenka's reasoning for the new look and identity is the company's objective to take forward a progressive outlook. According to him TRP's are a weekly game.
On the new re-branding exercise he says, "We believe the time is right to infuse renewed freshness into the brand and reflect an identity that truly articulates our spirit. The new positioning is about a celebration and vindication of a woman's emerging beliefs and a reflection of her changing hopes, dreams and optimism".
Experts say that most channels have realised that mere programming changes is not enough. Channel brands are now competing with one another to rise above this commodity clutter. Therefore, there is an effort to re-brand and look different. Precisely what Zee has done- Zee's new logo is designed by the in-hose team at Zeel, based on the creative inputs from its agency Draft FCB-Ulka. The aqua blue colour new logo features a stylish font.
The company officials say that the new age design with its upward flourish signifies the upward movement of desires and wishes. The abstract form of the 'Z' and vibrancy of aqua blue bring in modernity and freshness to the brand.
Along with the new look and identity, Zee TV also premieres two new shows, Shobha Somnath Ki and Mrs Kausik Ki Paanch Bahuein on June 20 at 8 pm and 10 pm respectively. India Ke Jaanbaaz is another upcoming reality show with real heroes that will make the common man a superstar. Zee TV is in close competition with Colors, the GEC from Viacom18 stable. In the week ended May 21, Star Plus was number one with 300 gross rating points (GRPs), followed by Colors and Zee TV with 230 and 191 points, respectively, according to TAM Media Research. GRPs are a total of television rating points (TRP) over a period of time. Now whether the new look and tag line will take Zee to the close no.2 position to Star Plus is something that the advertisers and the channel will have to wait and watch.