AXN, one of the first English entertainment channels to launch in the country is set to undergo a makeover this week. The new look of the channel, which is home to shows like 24, Ripley's Believe It or Not, Hannibal and Sherlock, will include a 3-D logo that not only adds a new dimension but also uses the colour red more prominently.
The new look follows a global shift in the positioning of the channel. Traditionally, AXN has been associated with action and thrills and it will continue to do so, but with a twist. Instead of just focussing on the physical action, the channel will also focus on edgy thrillers which may not be high on the kicks and punches, but will recharge the viewers' mind says the team in India.
As its shows are given a broader sweep in terms of ideas and content, the channel felt that it was time to adopt a more contemporary positioning that would appeal to audience segments looking for "intelligent action" said Yagnik. "More than just an adrenaline rush, they seek a mind rush. To cater to this mind-set, we have recalibrated our positioning, brought alive through (the philosophy) 'LIVE R.E.D.' for the entire brand universe," he added.
All elements of the channel's communication including channel packaging, content offering, shows and characters, and consumer benefit will affirm AXN's brand commitment to this principle. The new logo and packaging are meant to accentuate the colour red, the colour it says captures an ethos that the brand wants to incorporate as part of all its brand messaging. "The brand stands for Reality, Entertainment, Drama, and the consumer gratification of Rush, Excitement, Dream through its characters and shows," Yagnik said.
AXN is ahead of its peers in the ratings race. Around five years ago, the English entertainment genre depended on chance discovery. Audiences were largely discovering their shows while flipping channels. However, multiple factors like the growing adoption of English as a language of communication, digitisation and exposure to new international content because of the Internet have all helped promote appointment viewing in the genre. AXN currently plays at the number 2 spot on the BARC ratings, behind Viacom 18's Comedy Central and ahead of Zee Cafe and Star World.
"We want to be the top of the mind when it comes to the genre. As a result, we are building an association with the channel and the characters it has in its shows. Whether it is Sherlock, Hannibal or Jack Bauer. We have integrated this into the communication on the channel," explains Yagnik. Further reinforcement of the association with characters will be through on-ground events and activities. For example, the channel hosted 'Hank Moody Nights' at a restaurant in Mumbai which involved airing episodes of Californication (where the lead character is called Hank Moody). At last year's Comicon, AXN's exhibit was all about Wall of Hunks with life sized posters of the leading men from the show.