Special Feature: Star TV: Think global, Act local!

Raj Baddhan

Senior Editor

Star TV
Star TV

With competition between Asian channels in the UK market hotting up, every broadcaster is finding ways to differentiate its marketing strategies to better its positioning in a cluttered and saturated market.

One broadcaster in particular, not only dominates ratings in most territories but should be applauded for its innovative marketing initiatives that completely outshouts competition. Star Network UK that runs Star Plus, Star Gold, Star Life Ok and the newly launched, Star Utsav in the UK, has become bullish with its unique and aggressive marketing strategy. Gone are the days where Star TV UK held one major event like Star Parivaar Live. Instead, the broadcaster is monetizing on localised presence across multiple UK cities.

In just the last few months, Star Network UK has partnered up with sold-out events featuring artists such as Arijit Singh, Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, Sonu Nigam and Satinder Sartaaj to name a few. In the coming months, Star Plus UK will be partnering up with the recently announced Mika Singh in a multi city concert. Also, Star TV has completed its third year association with the 70,000 packed Birmingham & Sandwell Mela, which saw Mika Singh headline the event this year. The popular Bollywood singer also took to Twitter to personally thank Star TV UK for its association with the event.

Recently, Star TV’s partnership with Rahat Fateh Ali Khan drew in accolades from the artist himself , with the video link from Star’s Facebook page shared by Khan himself on his personal page.

In current times where social media really is the second screen for audiences, Star TV UK has managed to drive high engagement with their brand fans with the clever interplay of on-ground entertainment from the street to their screens.

Furthermore, Star TV’s sixth year partnership with the Leicester Belgrave Mela continued successfully. If that wasn’t enough, Star TV tied up with the National Asian Wedding Show, where it roped in ‘Pratigya’ actress, Pooja Gor to attend the event. She was the showstopper at the 2015 event and proved a popular choice amongst the crowd.

Pooja Gor at National Asian Wedding Show, London
Pooja Gor at National Asian Wedding Show, London

Aside from event collaborations, Star TV UK has walked away with the Best Asian channel at the Asian Media Awards for three consecutive years. Similarly, Star TV won the Best Hindi GEC at the annual, Asian Viewers Television Awards for two years running.

Gurjeev Singh Kapoor. Star TV International President at Asian Media Awards 2014
Gurjeev Singh Kapoor. Star TV International President at Asian Media Awards 2014
Sarika Shankarnarayan - Vice President, Head of International Marketing, Star TV
Sarika Shankarnarayan – Vice President, Head of International Marketing, Star TV

Sarika Shankarnarayan, Vice President – International Marketing, Star TV who is located out of the London office, clearly believes in putting viewers first. Strategically partnering up with top talent on concerts and ground events has without doubt turned out to be a winning format to build brand affinity for the Star Network internationally.

Shankarnarayan, who has been spearheading marketing at Star TV UK since 2009, was earlier with Star TV in India and is now responsible for marketing the Star Network channels across international markets including the UK, Europe, South Africa, US and Middle East. For Shankarnarayan, her philosophy of ‘think global but act local’ is creating a gold-standard of sorts. One thing’s for sure, Star TV’s consistent and innovative efforts to drive brand connect with viewers on a local level, is paying rich dividends. In the UK, Star Plus remains the nation’s most watched Asian entertainment channel for nearly ten years.

Shankarnarayan reports to Gurjeev Singh Kapoor, President, Star International.

On an international level, Star TV maintained its lead with event tie-ups in USA, South Africa and Middle East. Recently, Star TV USA’s partnership with the huge Bollywood show ‘Dream Team’ featuring the likes of Karan Johar, Sidharth Malhotra, Katrina Kaif, Varun Dhawan and Alia Bhatt was a big success.

In South Africa, the sold-out Sanam live concert on this weekend gone, was streamed in parts by Star TV via its Facebook Live feature, which attracted a staggering 1.8k comments, with numerous ‘Shares’ of the video footage. Some of the comments such as “South Africa LOVES Star Network” on Facebook was a gesture of the adulation Star TV received recently for the connect with its viewers. In the coming months, the Sonu Nigam and Atif Aslam event in December, is expected to be a bigger smash hit.

Star Plus also held local auditions globally for shows like ‘Dance + 2’ and the upcoming season of ‘MasterChef India’.

Once the self-claiming “game changer”, Star Plus’ motto has rung true with its rivals standing up to the dizzy heights that the broadcaster has set. With fierce competition amongst the Top 5 broadcasters increasing, Star TV UK is confident of extending the gap from its competitors further with its high quality, chart-topping and award-winning on-air, on-ground and online presence.