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AXN undergoes brand refresh; looks to ‘Live Red’

MUMBAI: After fine-tuning AXN’s FPC in 2015, Sony Pictures Network (SPN) India is now onto revamping the English channel. Accordingly, the look, logo and tagline of the channel are set to change from 24 January. This is keeping in line with the global brand refresh of AXN.

The new tagline is ‘Live Red’ and there are local components to the refresh. In India, ‘Red’ stands for ‘Reality, Entertainment, Drama’. These are the three main genres that AXN is focusing on.

AXN New logoMoreover, from the start AXN’s logo has used the colour red and the aim this time is to take this association further and truly own the colour. The broadcaster is also looking for the concept of ‘Live Red’ to underpin the diversity of its content offerings.

The AXN product truth, meanwhile, is about rational, edgy, dangerous characters. It is about the redification of characters. Forceful adjectives that start with any of the letters ‘R’ or ‘E’ or ‘D’ are being used to get the message across. The letters are being used to build stronger character and show association. For instance, Dexter is restless, Sherlock is eccentric and Hannibal is dangerous.

All elements of the channel’s communication including channel packaging, shows, characters and marketing activities will seek to affirm the channel’s commitment to Live Red.

Saurabh Yagnik, Executive AXNSPN India executive VP, business head English entertainment cluster Saurabh Yagnik noted that for a brand like AXN, which has been in the country for 18 years, it is important to keep re-energising to cater to younger viewers. At the same time, the consumer must understand why the brand has evolved.

“Live Red caters to people who want a recharge. We spoke to around 3,000 viewers. People today want content that appeals to the intellect and stimulates the mind. So we have to redefine the meaning of the word ‘action’. From physical action, thrills, and adventure sports, the action proposition of AXN will be about a mind rush that is more psychological and more intelligent. It is more than just an adrenaline rush. Action will stay at AXN’s core”

AXN’s research showed that consumers are a young set who want their daily dose of intelligent action. “AXN has redefined the meaning of the word ‘action’ in a way that viewing the channel can provide a mind rush. And the concept of ‘Mind Rush’ is brought alive by AXN through its iconic shows and characters with the new brand expression of Live Red. AXN offers shows that provide for an instant mind rush, characters that induce a feeling of excitement and stories that make you live your Dream,” Yagnik said.

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The challenge in 2016 will lie in staying ahead of the curve. “Conceptualising Live Red took a year and a half of effort from AXN’s various global teams. We have adapted red for what AXN stands for in India. Live Red will strongly associate with our channel colour and underpin the diversity of our content. Our core TG is 15–24 SEC A, B,” he added.

The other challenge for Yagnik is content costs. “There is cost inflation and there is also the rupee depreciation to consider.”

The change in AXN will come about with the first season of ‘Billions’ at 11 pm on 24 January. It will air in the ‘Fresh From The US’ slot. Other shows that will air in this slot include ‘Limitless’, ‘Elementary’ and ‘Supernatural’.

“‘Billions’ is the perfect show to introduce the new AXN. With an extremely powerful star cast, an overwhelming drama plot and a record-breaking performance in the US, the show has all the ingredients of Live Red. We look forward to a very exciting year on AXN with a contemporary new brand positioning and providing a truly Live Red experience,” said Yagnik.

In terms of the content strand, Yagnik points out to dramas airing at 10 pm, 11 pm as well as on the weekends which are doing well. This shows that viewers’ tastes have evolved over time, he states.