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Makeover rush

business Updated: Jun 20, 2010 22:22 IST
Anita Sharan
Anita Sharan
Hindustan Times
Highlight Story

Star Plus is seeing red and showing red. It launched its new ruby red logo with a white-hot swoosh on June 12, replacing its blue star logo.

UTV, present across the film and television entertainment spectrum, has replaced its solid black logo back-ended by a three-colour line, with a new, more fluid, contemporary signature logo.

Business news channel Bloomberg-UTV also has a new logo in keeping with UTV’s change, where ‘Bloomberg’ is either in black or white, in a sharp departure from Bloomberg’s global orange representation.

And have you checked out rediff.com’s homepage recently? While the logo remains the same, the homepage is entirely changed.

All these media brands have changed how they look that represents a deeper, strategic shift in what they offer, stimulated by a look at their consumers.

Star Plus’ new strategic focus is reflected in the words underlining the red star: “Rishta Wahi, Soch Nayi”. Star India CEO, Uday Shankar, said: “The logo is symbolic of maturity, a coming of age. It is expected to convey strength, sparkle and glamour. We are looking through a fresh new lens at the same important things.”

The channel will remain focused on women, its protagonists being women who make a difference. “Our characters, sets, look and feel will be governed by this. New programmes such as Pratigya and Sasural Genda Phool already reflect this,” Shankar said.

Star Plus’ transformation drew from viewer research. “The TV demography is more heterogeneous today. Middle and small-town India is giving us huge volumes; they must be represented, engaged. There’s new wealth, assertiveness, aspirations, a determination to take destiny into one’s own hands that must be encompassed in our content.”

For UTV, a new logo represents a strategic shift that started four years ago. Before that, for 16 years, it was in the B2B space, creating content for other broadcasters and offering them post-production and dubbing services.

“Then we took a conscious decision to re-engineer ourselves and offer B2C stuff, bringing UTV products directly to consumers,” said Zarina Mehta, co-founder, UTV. “Today, we have films, TV channels, console and high-end gaming, mobile content and web-based products under the UTV brand. We create content for other broadcasters, but 90 per cent of our business is now B2C.”

Mehta explained that the new UTV logo encompasses the strengths and values the brand has built over 20 years. “These include innovation, cutting-edge creativity and a passion to win.”

An innovation is UTV’s audio cinema for mobile phones — abridged audio versions of films with dialogue and narration which, said UTV, has picked up 1.3 million mobile subscribers.

Bloomberg-UTV’s new logo, with its positioning line of “Blunt. And Sharp” is a strategic shift in positioning and targeting. Its CEO, M.K. Anand, explained: “There are four players in TV business news, with CNBC TV18 leading, followed by NDTV Profit. ET Now and Bloomberg-UTV follow with about the same viewership ratings. The market cannot support more than two of us. So we have to work to be number two while straining every muscle to get to the top slot.”

Bloomberg-UTV’s research showed that while nine per cent of the urban, business channel-viewers (predominantly male, 25-plus-years SEC A & B, cable & satellite) who actually understand stocks and investments, made up the top of the pyramid for business news, there is a 10 per cent audience in the next rung who are “opportunists and aspirants”. While CNBC TV18 is perceived as the stocks and funds expert catering to the top end, targeting the rest, especially the opportunists and aspirants, Bloomberg-UTV felt, could help it improve its ranking.

“We have decided to be ‘Blunt. And Sharp’: direct, questioning, cutting out the fluff, being clear. While we will primarily target the opportunists-aspirants, we also hope to attract the top and bottom rung viewers,” Anand said.

He claimed Bloomber-UTV has already seen a jump in average time spent per viewer to 11 minutes last week, up from 6-7 minutes till the previous week. CNBC TV18’s average, he says, is 25-30 minutes.

Meanwhile, the channel’s ad campaign that used Greek words and said that business shouldn’t sound like Greek, has gotten into legal trouble with business newspaper Mint, published by HT Media Ltd, which used a similar concept in its advertising last year. The Calcutta High Court has asked Bloomberg-UTV to withdraw the ads.

Rediff.com, meanwhile, has a homepage now that is very crisp and brief. It leaves its predominantly young users the flexibility to use the website they way they want to. A new feature, MyPage, actually transforms the portal’s experience to something akin to a social networking site, providing the user with personalised experiences.

“Research of global online usage patterns reveals that the industry has shifted from content to conversations and from portals to platforms. Through MyPage, utility meets conversation,” said Prerana Nayak, associate director, product development, Rediff.com. MyPage marries conversations from all over rediff.com — real time friends’ updates, photos, videos, music, news links, bookmarks, blogs — with conversations from the rest of a user’s world including his/her favoured brands, films and entertainment, celebrities and causes. It was already all there, said Nayak. Rediff.com is just offering them better.

Going forward, consumers will have greater influence on media and entertainment offerings. As Star’s Shankar said, “The winds of change are lateral and multi-layered, blowing across the country. We must really understand them if we want to make any transformation work for us.”

Star Plus

A new star logo in ruby red, with a white-hot swoosh, underlined by a statement: “Rishta Wahi, Soch Nayi” (Old relationship, new thinking). The red star logo replaces the old blue star logo. The new logo underlines the shift Star Plus is effecting in its content and its consumer and business relationships. The shift encompasses a fresh perspective on life and relationships that is more contemporary and relevant to its viewers. While the programming will still primarily focus on women, its representation of women, the channel promises, brings in her ‘nayi soch’ either quietly, with her staying in the background or leading from the front, but making a difference in her life, others’ lives and in her relationships.

UTV

From a solid black signature logo backed by a three-colour line, the media and entertainment company’s logo has transformed to a contemporary, more flowing, vibrant signature logo that UTV believes will represent it better in the different media it wants to be present in. The new logo front-ends a sharp strategic aggregation of UTV’s strengths that it has established since its inception but which were underutilised since they were not being consciously harnessed for business.

Rediff.com

An entirely transformed homepage provides a new look and a new relationship, where the controlling reins are handed over to the user. A significant shift from a content-driven strategy to a conversations-enabling one. The introduction of the MyPage feature makes rediff.com a social network player.

Bloomberg-UTV

While the English business news channel’s logo change is a part of the larger UTV logo transformation, it underlines a huge strategic targeting and content delivery shift the channel is going in for. There-fore, the logo is underlined by the words: “Blunt. And Sharp.” The channel is making this statement its driving philosophy in the way it works every day in order to become a significant player in the business news space in India.

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