Brand Refresh: Indian TV’s Favourite Pastime?

On October 15, Zee TV went through what has come to be known as a “brand refresh” in television industry parlance. A brand refresh typically entails a change in logo and packaging, but more importantly, a change in the stated brand positioning, which is often accompanied by a brand campaign, a change in tagline and a channel theme song.

Over the last decade, brand refreshes of this nature have been rampant on Indian television. Every other month, you see a one of the big channels going through this process. The Hindi GECs have been particularly hyperactive in this area. Continue reading

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The Kimmel Monologue: The Power Of A ‘Comedian’

It may have been a week of slow news in India, but at the other end of the world, in the United States, the Vegas shooting incident on October 1 has been at the centre of news and debates. Normally, news from the US does not hold much interest for me, but over the last decade, as such incidents continue to happen, I have struggled to comprehend how the world’s most developed country can actually put its own citizens at risk because of (the absence of) gun laws which any sane human being will question.

I’m no expert on this topic, but the incident this week was particularly disturbing, purely from a humane perspective. The Indian media glossed over it, and perhaps rightly so, as it has limited relevance for us. We may have other issues related to public safety plaguing us, but this is an area where we are a million times safer. Continue reading

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Bollywood’s Star Crisis: How soon can the youth take over?

The year 2017 is turning out to be Bollywood’s toughest in a long time. In the eight complete months of the year (Jan-Aug), the domestic box-office of Hindi films (not counting the dubbed Bahubali 2), has dropped by 16.9% vis-à-vis the same period in 2016. While there are some big films lined up for the rest of the year, 2016’s biggest success (Dangal) was a December release. Hence, the gap could only widen by the time the year ends.

Content not being able to deliver to the audience’s rising expectations is the primary reason for this declining trend, as covered in this column after the debacle of Jab Harry Met Sejal (read here). But there’s another important reason that has been building up over the last decade, and now beginning to have a major impact: Lack of young superstars. Continue reading

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Kids on TV: Criticism That GECs Can Live With

This blog is being updated with old posts that first appeared in my weekly column on MXMIndia. If you have subscribed to email alerts, sorry for the spam. You may get alerts on multiple posts during this week. Look forward to seeing you on the blog, which will be maintained more actively in 2018.

Three weeks ago, Sony launched a fiction show called Pehredaar Piya Ki. The show’s promos received flak, especially in the social media, because of the show’s central theme: A grown-up girl marries a 10-something boy. This “romance” was termed regressive and even pervert. Continue reading

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Women’s Cricket in India: Finally In The Reckoning

This blog is being updated with old posts that first appeared in my weekly column on MXMIndia. If you have subscribed to email alerts, sorry for the spam. You may get alerts on multiple posts during this week. Look forward to seeing you on the blog, which will be maintained more actively in 2018.

Women’s Cricket has existed on the fringes in India, never really competing for major attention of sports enthusiasts. While comparisons to men’s cricket will be foolhardy, women’s cricket should have held some interest when compared to secondary sports in India such as hockey, badminton, tennis and the likes. But even that didn’t happen. Until this week. Continue reading

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A Polarised Media And Its Off-Shoots

This blog is being updated with old posts that first appeared in my weekly column on MXMIndia. If you have subscribed to email alerts, sorry for the spam. You may get alerts on multiple posts during this week. Look forward to seeing you on the blog, which will be maintained more actively in 2018.

Right-wing vs. Left-liberal. It’s polarisation of the extent we have never seen in our country before. What started as a “bias” of certain sections of the media has now polarised the media, including the social media, entirely.

There’s no in-between here. As a journalist, expert or even a regular casual Facebook or Twitter user, you have to take one of the two positions. Most Indians don’t even know the meaning of the phrases like Right-wing and Left-wing. But semantic knowledge is purely incidental here. The opinions are not. And the opinions are polarised. And increasingly so over the last few months. Continue reading

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Panic Time For Hindi GECs?

Over the five years of existence of this column, one of the most-extensively covered topics here has been the status quo in the Hindi GEC category. Every few months, I have touched upon the concern that the category has got too inert for its own good, not recognizing the viewer dissatisfaction that’s been on a steady rise over these years.

Over the last few weeks, the numbers are beginning to tell a story that’s harsher than ever before. In the equivalent eight-week period (May-June), 2017 saw a 11% drop in Hindi GEC ratings in Urban (HSM) India, compared to 2016. The drop is even higher at 16% at an Urban + Rural level. Since BARC’s last major market expansion in end 2015, the category has lost more than 20% viewership. Continue reading

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