Perspective | DTH home channels, the next stop shop for advertisers!

In a growing economy like India, the number of products and services available to the consumers are also accelerating at equal pace. Given this situation, marketers need to make their products and services visible to their targets in every possible manner. Following this need of increasing visibility of products and services, the DTH home channel is now an added option to marketers in their media mix. We at Adgully spoke to industry personnel from various sectors, to gain a 360 degree understanding of the medium, its utility, potential and viability as an advertising medium.
 
Kenny Shin, CEO, STAR CJ Alive, said that DTH Home channel is definitely a great platform to inform the consumers about a new product/service launch as it has the advantage of being the first channel which is viewed when a consumer switches on the DTH box. Therefore, a consumer is more likely to view the contents of the channel. It is possible to create successful leads through this 
 
process but conversion of these leads into actual sales cannot be estimated. Nonetheless, it can be defined as a great tool for marketers to inform consumers about new products or new services or channels added in the set-up box.
 
Star CJ Alive has steadily increased its presence in the DTH market, by tying-up with Tata sky, Hathway, Dish TV and very recently Videocon. “These tie-ups will give us a larger footprint across PAN India with the kind of growth seen in the digital platform. The subscribers’ base of DTH players is largely the target audience for Star CJ Alive too. Hence it will able to reach its consumer more effectively”, he added.
 
Sunil Kataria, Executive Vice President, Marketing & Sales, GCPL, said, “DTH advertising has always been an existing option. It has been an overall rural phenomenon so far, but, in light of the digitization deadline, a surge in new connections is expected even across the top 4 metros. That might increase the potential for a lot of brands with metro focus. However, the fact that’s also stopping a lot of advertisers is lack of FCT buying options unlike regular C&S channels.”
 
Pritpal Singh Lakha, Head – Brand, Aircel India said, “We do advertise on various platforms, but for this particular platform, its a wait and watch situation. There are a lot of brands that use this platform for advertising, but we believe in numbers and TRP’s so once we start seeing that coming, we can start believing some of such methods. And secondly, I believe that it is too early to say as to whether it can lead to conversion. Everyone is trying new things; we are also observing it and we also try new things but staying in the budget that can promise something substantial.”
 
A top running GEC, Zee TV had recently done an interesting activity on the DTH front. The premiere of ‘Sa Re Ga Ma Pa 2012’ was promoted across the biggest DTH players of India. On one of them, the subscribers were directly tuned into ‘Sa Re Ga Ma Pa 2012’ on Zee TV. Aakash Chawla, Marketing Head, National Channels, ZEEL, states that Zee has always been proactive and aggressive on the front and plans to continue to take it ahead. He is of the opinion that the DTH platform posses accelerating growth and with digitisation, its reach will extend to the smaller towns as well. Specifically speaking of the Hindi speaking markets, there is great opportunity which promises fantastic growth. Speaking about the conversion of such advertising, he states that, “Interestingly, the conversion rate for us is higher on digital than on analogue. If the cost per conversion remains affordable, we shall continue to use it to the fullest. In my opinion, it’s a ‘focus’ medium. He believes that one needs to continue to find new domains and news strategies to beat the heat amongst various players. “As far as competition is concerned, it’s not only about buying the inventory; it’s more about utilising the inventory and the medium.”
 
Shashi Shankar, CMO, Idea, said, “We as a brand and as marketers are not active on that platform but are still evaluating the medium. We believe that it will definitely be a viable option and we are looking at the cost benefits in terms of households the DTH medium is reaching, who are the people who are getting the message; thus we are still evaluating the nascent stage of the medium.”
 
Vikram Mehra, Chief Marketing Officer, Tata Sky, said, “With the dilution of ratings from program to break and break to spot, advertisers are always worried if their advertisement is actually seen by the end consumer. Tata Sky Home Channel eliminates this to a large extent by bringing to the table the unique promise of power on.”
 
Explaining this Mehra said, “With a reach of over 10 million connections (with most subs turning on their TV everyday) coupled with the unique advantage of power on (every time a subscriber switches on his box he lands on the Home Channel allowing the subscriber to potentially see the advertisement), advertising on the Home Channel allows brands to build quick reach and high OTS. 
 
Available to advertisers on the Home Channel is also an unparallel opportunity – That of Direct marketing. Advertisers can effectively market its products to this premium & evolved subscriber base (63% SEC A & B). All the advertiser needs to do is add a sms based CTA to his communication. Opt-in based leads thus generated are filtered & shared daily with the advertiser along with the subscriber contact details. Many automobile brands have used this tool to effectively generate enquiries and even book test drives.”
 
Another exciting new & unique opportunity to target only the super premium & evolved Tata Sky HD PVR subscribers is VoD. “Brands can push product films, demos or even a catalogue of the products into the recording memory of the box during the night. Since the video stays on the subscriber’s box for 7 days, the subscribers can browse at leisure. This is ideal for high involvement product categories where the consumers seek additional information like automobiles, jewellery etc”, he added.
 
Speaking about the marketer response Mehra said, “The response has been great so far. Many leading FMCG’s like Dabur, Pepsi, Coke, Nivea, Colgate to name a few, have been using the platform to speak to their target audience. Unlike what you see on television where advertisement is for shorter duration, brands are now using a much creative and engaging approach while advertising on DTH. To ensure salience for our advertisers, we ensure not more than 12 brands advertise on the platform on any particular day.”
 
P. M. Balakrishnan, COO, Allied Media, is of the opinion that though the medium is growing, it is still not a part of the mainline television planning process. He believes that the medium reaches to a target niche audience, mainly metros, and thus the brands (products and services) advertised on the medium are of premium category like luxury and lifestyle. Though, one cannot deny the fact that the medium is growing consistently and being explored by various marketers.
 
He further adds that suggesting the DTH platform to a marketer in their media mix completely depends on the brand, the target it’s aiming at and the relevance it holds in terms of the medium used and to the viewers it is expected to reach.  
 
From the above mentioned variated opinions we received, one can understand that no medium in today’s cluttered market and complex consumer sensibility will be unattended or unexploited. But, there is an indication that the DTH Home Channel platform is currently largely client – driven. Though with digitisation deadline, one expects the scene to change and for good. | By Ankita Tanna [ankita(at)adgully.com]
Media
@adgully

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