The channel chooses direct marketing route for better reach

Ajita Shashidhar

For better connect


The channel proposes to connect with target audience through milk bags.
Host of cricket-related programmes also planned.

Mumbai, March 6

Instead of launching lavish media campaigns, SaharaOne has decided to take the direct marketing route to promote its shows in 8-9 p.m. slot,

Hare Kaanch ki Choodiyan

and

Buniyaad

.

The channel has tied up with milk vendors across Mumbai who would distribute some 1.5 million milk bags with information about the two shows.

Mr Purnendu Bose, COO of SaharaOne, said: "Our challenge is to talk about our differential programming to the housewives, who usually don't read newspapers. We felt that by branding milk bags we can directly connect with our target audience."

The other feature of this campaign is a contest; the winner would reportedly be given a month's milk supply free. "Each bag would have a number and if the number matches with those flashed on the show, the person can call us for a month's supply of free milk," said Mr Bose.

This campaign, to begin with, is being launched in Mumbai, but would be rolled out to other cities shortly.

Prior to the campaign, the channel had distributed branded dhobhi bags to promote its show,

Woh Rehne Wali Mahlon Ki

, which Mr Bose said was a great success.

The channel's focus on `journey of real life people', with shows such as

Kittu Sab Jaanti Hai

, which portrays the life of a journalist, has reportedly helped the channel's viewership go up by 78 per cent in the recent months. "Our revenues have also shot up by 425 per cent. In fact,

Woh Rehne Wali Mahlon Ki

has consistently been among the top 50 shows," said Mr Bose.

Having bagged the telecast rights for the India-England cricket series, the channel has lined up a host of activities to promote cricket through its primetime shows.

"We are going to bring in drama into cricket as we do in our soaps."

Mr Bose said that the female characters of the various soaps would dress up as cricketers and talk about the forthcoming series.

Also on the cards is a host of cricket-related programming, which according to Mr Bose, would be unique.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated March 7, 2006)
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