With DD back wooing producers, Dheeraj Kumar's Creative Eye has
bought slots on the DD afternoon band, while Sanjay Khan's Numero
Uno is back with two mega serials - Maharathi Karna and 1857
Kranti (which had been discontinued after four episodes in its
earlier run in May 2001). BR TV is ruling the roost with Ravi Chopra's
Aap Beeti which featured in seven out of the Top 10 shows
on DD in 2002. Shows like Om Namah Shivaya, Chitrahaar, Rangoli
(all Creative Eye) and Zameer (Mukta Telearts) were pulled
out of DD in February 2001when the telecast fees shot up.
However, DD producers also blame the media planners and buyers
who they say have been responsible for DD's dwindling base of 100
clients reducing to less than 50 in the last few years. "There
is a clear mismatch, as the brands who should be on DD are shifting
loyalties to C&S homes. The main culprits are ad agencies, planners
and buyers who don't have an understanding of the ground realities
of semi-urban and rural areas; have never travelled to these areas;
never interacted with the audiences in these areas and don't have
hard-core marketing experience," says a producer on condition
Reach of DD channels as per IRS 2002 (All adults 12 yrs plus)
(36.7 per cent)
(23.4 per cent)
(48.8 per cent)
(50.5 per cent)
(31.5 per cent)
(12.2 per cent)
"BR Chopra's serial Aap Beeti had seven slots in the
Top 10 list of DD's programmes in week 1-46 of 2002. The high TRPs
ranged between 13.38 and 12.42 for this period. An Aap Beeti
episode reached out to 14,33 million viewers on 3 September 2002.
Kahani Ghar Ghar Ki and Kyunki Saas bhi kabhi bahu thi
could manage 7.04 million and 7.01 million viewers," says Reasonable
Advertising vice president marketing S A Khan who markets the BR
TV's serials Aap Beeti and Vishnupurana.
"The fact remains that the viewers in semi-urban areas and
rural markets also have substantial purchasing power - especially
true of pockets in the states of Punjab and Haryana," adds
"If one travels beyond the metros to the smaller towns and
district levels, DD continues to rule. In the Hindi belt, DD's national
network still remains popular," adds Universal Communications'
MD Padmakar Nandekar, who claims his three programmes contribute
60 per cent to DD Mumbai's revenues.
The programmes marketed by Nandekar include the feature films on
Saturday and Sunday and the dubbed Laurel Hardy show on Sunday.
Nandekar also has other programmes on DD-Thiruvananthapuran (four
serials including three dailies and one weekly); DD-Chennai (one
daily); DD-Bangalore (feature film on the premier Sunday afternoon
The telecast fees for DD (Mumbai) Sahyadri channels are Rs 26,000
for 30-minute episodes with Rs 12,000 for additional 10-second spots.
Many producers are also investing in dubbed versions of the serials.
Both the BR TV serials are being simultaneously dubbed into four
languages - Hindi, Tamil, Telegu and Malayalam. Industry experts
say that the dubbed versions result in a cost increase of anything
between Rs 1,50,000 and 2,00,000 but the increased TVRs and the
revenues from advertising compensates for the overruns.
Inspite of all these efforts and ratings, media planners and buyers
are coaxing advertisers to choose the C&S platform, allege producers.
Several categories like lower-end lubricants, two-wheelers and consumer
durables are gradually increasing their spends on C&S and reducing
spends on DD. FMCGs is one category which is still ruling on the
DD scene. "Ad agency planners must take lessons from Hindustan
Lever's managers who believe in using DD to reach out to the interiors,
semi-urban and rural areas. Many HLL managers know the ground realities
and use media vehicles accordingly. Colgate Palmolive, on the other
hand has reduced its spends on DD. Currently, HLL, Parle Beverages,
Zandu, Dabur, All Out insecticides are advertising with us,"
Khan adds: " Our top advertisers include HLL, P&G, Godrej
Soaps, Nirma, Zandu and Dabur. HLL has branded our offering as Wheel
Vishnupurana. Life Insurance Corporation has regularly advertised
with us. When brands like Saridon and Burnol were with the Reckitt
Piramal combine, they used be heavy spenders on DD but are currently
reducing spends. What is sad is the fact that several lubricants
are shifting loyalties to C&S and reducing spends on DD,"
"Earlier, Bajaj Auto used DD whereas it has increased spends
in C&S channels. Media planners are recommending C&S for
Mahindra and Mahindra's family MUVs. All these brands ought to be
on DD, " says Khan, adding that he had earlier urged some white
goods companies like Kalyani Sharp to advertise on DD and they had
managed to get a good response.
When questioned about the better SEC A profile of C&S channels,
DD loyalist producers claim that many of the buying decisions of
the SEC A households are taken by their employees (drivers and servants).
They also quote the IRS studies are a better indicator than the
TAM ratings as it has a sample size of more than 2,00,000 individuals
whereas TAM has recently increased the scope of its ratings to place
the sample size at somewhere between 3,454-4,555 metres.
Some DD loyalists also point out that certain areas of Punjab,
Haryana and Uttar Pradesh are not included in the TAM studies.
Sanjay Khan churns out
fresh mytho, historical for DD