Mumbai: The advent and popularity of OTT platforms forced almost all major traditional content distributions platforms to reinvent themselves in the last couple of years. But category leader Tata Sky’s decision to go for a complete identity overhaul, rebranding itself as Tata Play, was a big move signalling a formal start to the overall industry transformation.
After a 15 year successful run, Tata Sky recently announced a new name and identity ‘Tata Play’ to reflect the company’s expanded business interests beyond direct-to-home services. These include its 100 per cent fiber network that has been renamed as Tata Play Fiber, and the aggregator app Tata Play Binge, which offers content from 12 leading OTT platforms. Tata Play has also onboarded Netflix on the Binge service.
“Tata Sky leveraged its market leadership in its core business to create an ecosystem of content delivery by foraying into OTT and broadband. We believe it is time for a brand identity that resonates beyond our DTH business. The name Tata Play signifies our expanded range of products and services. The new identity is an outcome of our desire to be future-ready,” Tata Play MD and CEO Harit Nagpal said at the time of the announcement.
Commenting further on the need as well as the timing of the rebranding, Tata Play’s chief communication officer Anurag Kumar added, “Over the last four-five years, we have seen our customers’ content consumption patterns evolving in a manner where they are consuming a lot more OTT content, in addition to watching TV. We wanted to make use of this opportunity to inform people that we offer a wide variety of quality content from across platforms, whether OTT or linear TV. This rebranding was to position ourselves as a holistic content distribution platform in their minds.”
The rebranding of Tata Sky to Tata Play was conceptualised by the London-based global branding agency venturethree. Talking about the brief given to them Kumar noted, “We wanted the new identity to be more youthful, fun, and distinctive while retaining the trust and quality credentials built by the company over the years. The fresh purple-pink colour scheme not only stands out in the category but also resonates with the new ethos.”
The word ‘Play’ was chosen to replace ‘Sky’ in the name because it is easily understood by everyone across the country and also conveys the category to an extent.
The Advertising Blitz
The rebranding was unveiled alongside the introduction of new offerings and benefits for customers. And to communicate all of this Tata Play collaborated with Ogilvy India to launch a cross-media campaign with Kareena Kapoor Khan and Saif Ali Khan as the face for the national markets, and R Madhavan and Priyamani for the south.
Ogilvy was tasked with conveying the new identity, features and benefits in a way that entertains the audience. This was achieved through crisp ad films that portray the celebrities as ordinary people bringing out the message through relatable, light-hearted situations.
“If we are a platform that allows people to connect with entertainment, our ads/communication should also be entertaining,” emphasised Kumar.
Within three days of its launch on 26 January, the high-decibel, TV-heavy campaign has made Tata Group the third biggest advertiser of the past week, second only to FMCG giants HUL and RB. The group registered a direct entry in the top ten advertisers list at No. three with ad volumes of 1188.69, according to Barc data for week 4 (22 January 2022 to 28th January 2022). Tata Play was the most advertised brand with ad volumes of 672.02.
The campaign will run on TV for roughly eight weeks until March-end. It will be accompanied by the digital leg comprising social media (particularly Instagram), YouTube, digital advertising, and influencer activity. In the second phase, the campaign will include more print and outdoor.
Kumar informs that in addition to onboarding Netflix as an add-on, Tata Play has combined its linear TV and the Tata Play Binge products into a single offering that can be managed as one subscription. The company’s OTT app Tata Play Binge, today, has 12 partner apps, all accessible through its single user interface.
Additionally, Tata Play has waived off the service charge of Rs. 175 for all technician visits. It is also leveraging the campaign to communicate its existing benefit of ‘no reconnection charges’ for customers who want to reactivate their Tata Play subscription.
Tata Play ‘Binge’ was introduced on Fire TV Stick in 2019. It was extended in 2021 with the launch of the OTT aggregator app, ‘Binge Mobile App’. Commenting on the progress, Kumar shared, “We have more than half a million customers on Tata Play Binge which is a fairly good number. The business is poised for strong growth with this rebranding.”
Currently available only to Tata Play subscribers, the company is considering opening it up for a larger universe of audiences.
Tata Play Fiber, on the other hand, is a relatively niche service available only in select cities and localities. “Our fiber business is targeted at customers at the top-end of the market who want very-high quality internet with great speed and minimal downtime. It was intended as a profitable business with selective play. We don’t aim to go ‘mass’ with it,” explained Kumar.