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Zee 24 Taas: Promising to keep viewers a step ahead
[Image: 18294_201015_Print_original_pop.jpg]
The Marathi news channel, Zee 24 Taas has embarked on a new journey in the New Year, by embracing a new look and feel.

The news channel, launched in 2007, has undergone a complete revamp. The changes include a new logo, a fresh tagline (One Step Ahead), new graphics (including header, ticker), a new studio backdrop, new costumes for newsreaders and presenters, and a programming revamp.

Speaking to afaqs!, Bhushan Khot, business head and vice-president, Zee 24 Taas, says, "When the channel was launched, we fell short of putting together a sustained marketing campaign to effectively promote and establish ourselves. We lost our leadership status to new entrant, STAR Majha, while also facing competition from IBN Lokmat. It's about time that we differentiate ourselves from others and position ourselves as a clear winner, by reclaiming our leadership position."

He further explains that earlier, Zee 24 Taas lacked clear positioning, since it sported a tagline that declared the channel to be the first Marathi news channel to deliver news round the clock. Now, the channel has been repositioned as a platform that will keep viewers a step ahead of the rest of the crowd, by delivering no-nonsense, serious and unadulterated news.

The new positioning of the channel is based on the promise, Ek Paul Pudhe, meaning One Step Ahead, as part of which it is flaunting a new feel and formats. The new look of the channel has been designed and executed by its creative agency, DraftFCB Ulka.

A print, outdoor and TV campaign have been launched to communicate the channel's new positioning to viewers. A 60-second on-air film draws on a jingle to highlight success and the influence of personalities such as Prakash Amte and Madhuri Dixit in the lives of others. The film's music has been composed by Taufiq Qureshi (son and disciple of Ustad Allarakha). The re-launch film for Zee 24 Taas is being aired on the channel itself and on network channels, such as Zee Marathi and Zee Talkies.

The creatives for the print and outdoor campaigns depict faceless figures of stalwarts such as Bal Gangadhar Tilak, Lata Mangeshkar and Sachin Tendulkar -- the leading names of the freedom movement, music and sports, respectively -- as inspirational icons of Maharasthra.

As part of the media plan, the channel is taking out print ads in Marathi publications, such as Maharasthra Times, Loksatta, Lokmat and Sakaal. Hoardings have been put up in Pune, Nasik and other cities.

Talking about the campaign, Bhushan Pandit, creative director, DraftFCB Ulka, Mumbai, says, "The idea was to find ways and means of capturing present-day Maharashtra's modern thinking. We brainstormed as to how to capture things that would symbolise and stand for a forward looking state and its people. The on air-promotion and the jingle used in the TVC, coupled with a common message incorporated in print and outdoor media, very well capture the essence of looking ahead."

According to Pandit, the campaign salutes the spirit of these leaders and acknowledges that brilliance and staying ahead has always been a part of a Maharashtrian, or for that matter, for any other talented Indian. The communication at the heart of the campaign establishes and captures the new avatar of Zee 24 Taas as a forward-thinking entity, since it associates and identifies itself with leaders and trendsetters.

Khot of Zee 24 Taas calls the channel a pioneer and points out that it has always taken the lead in experimenting with new formats, and taking initiatives that have been followed by others in the Marathi genre. As examples, he cites events and properties including Aapla Shahar Aapla Awaaz, Ananya Sanman, and State Summit, as unique initiatives started by Zee 24 Taas.

Khot believes that these properties were never promoted aggressively in the media; but this time, the channel is going all out to build on these initiatives, by amplifying them with adequate media support. The channel has also introduced new properties and revamped a host of its existing shows, as part of a programming revamp.

The new programming includes bulletins such as 24 Taas 24 Batmya (24 hours 24 news), Khabar Udyachi (tomorrow's newspaper), Zara Hatke (offbeat news), Non-stop news (news without break), Aradhana (religious programme) and Around the World (world news).

Khot is confident that the new look and repositioning will inspire the common man to identify with the channel more closely and strongly. It will be seen as a platform that inspires confidence in its audience, to make their lives as illustrious and distinguished as those of the personalities featured in the new brand campaign of Zee 24 Taas.

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