Monday, October 01, 2007

NDTV Good Times : A Unique Co- branding

Brand : NDTV Good Times
Company : NDTV
Agency : Equus Redcell

Brand Count : 279

In September 2007, NDTV launched India's first hardcore lifestyle channel branded NDTV Good Times. This new channel is unique in two ways - its India's first lifestyle channel and secondly its the first time where a product brand has co-branded with a channel.
Co-Branding is where two brands operating in two different domains coming together for a common cause ( objective) . The objective can be anything from tapping a common market or sharing promotions. The oft quoted examples in classrooms were the co-branded credit cards .
NDTV Good Times is promoted by NDTV alone and not with any equity stake by the UB Group.
The new channel is all about lifestyle. In theory , we tend to describe lifestyle with the three descriptors
Interests &
Opinions ( AIO).
Truly like this concept, Good Times is all about activities, opinions and interests. The channel devotes its time to Health, Fashion, Food, Luxury, Technology , Chats with celebrities, life of rich and the famous etc. The channel also wants to create a class of its own by roping in HOT Properties to anchor respective shows. These include the actor Rajat Kapoor, Chef Manju Malhi, Techie Rajiv Makhni etc. The channel is full of aspirational lifestyle programs and contains about 50-60 original programs per week.
The channel is looking at the target market comprising of socially upbeat 20-40 yr old SEC A viewers.
The questions arises as to the benefit of these two different brands coming together in a channel. For NDTV, the brand association with Kingfisher gives it the revenue cushion. According to Agencyfaqs, UB group has committed around Rs 100 crore worth of ads in the next five years. For NDTV this takes away the risk of launching a lifestyle channel with is atmost a Niche . Kingfisher will provide the much needed ad revenue till the channel began to attract other advertisers.

For UB Group, its a boon. We know that Indian law does not permit Kingfisher Beer to advertise. The rules are getting stricter day by day. Hence there is nothing better than a channel that carries your tagline and the mascot. Besides that every businessman knows the power of having a media under its fold. UB Group may not have the capability to run a media, so why not associate with the best brand in the media domain NDTV. Also Kingfisher as a brand epitomizes lifestyle positioning. Whether its the beer or the airlines, Mallya has built the brand on lifestyle platform . Hence Co-branding with a lifestyle channel makes perfect sense.

But things are not as rosy as it seems. This whole concept will work only if NDTV can bring in quality content to the channel. NDTV has proved its capability in the news front but entertainment is a different ballgame altogether. Right now cost of the new launch maynot be a headache since NDTV has its processes and systems in place. What is going to make or break this channel is the quality of programming and the innovation that this channel will bring in to get the eyeballs sticking. For NDTV , Good Times is testing waters since it plans to roll out an entertainment channel in collaboration with the ace director Karan Johar. For Kingfisher, its a promotional expenditure ( nobody ever has perfectly measured the effectiveness of advertising as yet !!!). I feel that Good Times channel will be an integral part of inflight entertainment in the airlines too in future.
So as of now its a win-win game for both the brands. Time will tell if GOOD TIMES will last.
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