Case Study: How Sun TV leveraged social media to improve television viewership

Sun TV

The case study explores how Sun TV repositioned Sun Life as a trending GEC targeted at younger digital-native demography through a 3-pronged strategy approach through social media.

Understanding that the channel needed to first break away from its traditional brand image, Sun TV formulated a strategy on digital media targeted at younger demography. Here’s a look at the case study in detail.

Brand Introduction

Sun TV is a household name almost synonymous with television entertainment in Tamil Nadu. With the increasing amount of competition from national entrants like Star Vijay, Zee Tamil, and Colors, Sun Network decided to reposition and launch Sun Life as a second GEC offering targeted at younger digital-native demography that had distinct affinities when compared to their parents who were loyal Sun TV viewers.


The channel needed to first break away from its traditional brand image. Hence, Sun TV formulated a strategy that was derived out of a three-pronged approach.
  • The brand identified and studied content consumption patterns of the target group across categories. This included popular social media channels, genres, content formats, hashtags, trends, tonality and more.
  • Used qualitative research to collect feedback on existing content, measure the stickiness of show-characters and TV personalities.
  • Also monitored social chatter and the influence of show promos on perception

Problem Statement/Objective

The brand’s objective was to conceptualize and execute a high-impact campaign that launched the channel across digital & built affinity from a younger, mobile-first audience that was becoming distant from the TV entertainment category.

Also read: Case Study: How Tata Salt’s Chhath Puja campaign created awareness around women’s health


Having divided the campaign into a week-long high-intensity launch exercise followed by a 45 day sustenance period, Sun TV used a media mix including social networking platforms, social discovery vehicles, influencers, mobile networks and a wide variety of display inventory across publishers. As a teaser to the launch, Sun TV used comparative visuals that showcased the evolution of classical elements from cinema, pop culture, fashion, etc. to their modern-day renditions.
சன்ஃலைப் | அக்டோபர் 7 முதல்

சன்ஃலைப் இப்பொழுது புத்தம் புது பொலிவுடன்அக்டோபர் 7 முதல்!!!#SunLifeTamil #Oct7 #LiveLifeSunLife #InimeSunLifeThan

Posted by Sun Life on Monday, 1 October 2018
Using customized communication that appealed to different segments of the target audience, the brand engaged a variety of digital audiences positioning the channel as a go-to destination for the young and the modern Tamilian.
சன்ஃலைப் | அக்டோபர் 7 முதல்

இளமையின் துள்ளலோடு இன்னும் உற்சாகத்துடன்சன்ஃலைப், அக்டோபர் 7 முதல் புத்தம் புது பொலிவுடன்!!!#SunLifeTamil #Oct7 #LiveLifeSunLife #InimeSunLifeThan

Posted by Sun Life on Monday, 1 October 2018
Achieving a 78% penetration across potential audiences at frequency rates optimized based on audience retention, the campaign offered custom communication to different segments of the audience (MIL/DIL, Reality Show enthusiasts, Film buffs, etc) The launch phase focussed on influencing trials and reaching maximum users with the brand refresh communication.
Oru Kadha Sollatuma Sir

பேரன், பேத்திய கொஞ்சுறதுக்கெல்லாம் பணமா?என்ன கொடும டா!Watch #OruKadhaSollatumaSir Monday to Friday 8PM Only On#SunLife #ShortStories #StoryTime

Posted by Sun Life on Wednesday, 10 July 2019
While Facebook and Instagram provided a second screen experience with exclusive promos, behind-the-scenes visuals, and contests, YouTube drove consideration from in-market and affinity audiences who consumed similar or competitor content. To create recall with a critical digital audience, the brand used IRCTC captcha code branding to announce the date of the launch. Cashing in on Twitter’s increasing popularity amongst a highly engaging regional audience, the team mobilized a range of influencers across entertainment, movies, politics, etc Sun TV trended nationally for a total of 15 hours across the first week with the hashtags – #PudhuLife and #SoppanaSundariOnSunLife which announced the launch of their flagship show. Given the reality plus glamor components of Soppana Sundari, the brand further tried to appeal to fans and viewers of Bigg Boss Tamil that enjoyed a large share of voice and popularity in the state. Using Silverpush, the brand targeted viewers of competitor shows during ad-breaks using mobile sync technology across Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. The sustenance phase focussed on building affinity towards programming content via exclusive promos, live videos, contests, and content integration via popular Tamil YouTube channels. They also created shareable memes based on show characters and humorous scenes that were distributed through several hyperlocal Whatsapp groups.


  • Through the course of 50 days, the campaign reached over 11.7 million Tamilians across the region via social media, display networks, publishers and mobile apps.
  • With an increased engagement during primetime and a 44% higher view rate using competition sync, Sun TV also saw a significant increase in fan armies, Facebook groups and press articles sharing campaign-related content.
  • Despite the lack of celebrity endorsers or a star-studded cast, Soppana Sundari enjoyed over 7 times higher the numbers of social media mentions than its closest competitor Bigg Boss Tamil during the launch week.
  • Facebook and Instagram saw over 4.85 million engagements in the very first week of the campaign via contests and interactive polls. The official Facebook page witnessed a 300% growth in followers through the course of this campaign garnering close to 22 million views.
  • Leveraging avenues from TV to digital engagement, Sun TV recorded a 20% increase in brand mentions during prime time week over week.
  • The success of this campaign not only contributed to the channel’s ratings but also built a continued following for secondary content that was celebrated by a new class of young and progressive Tamil television viewers.


“The ethos of the campaign was built around the promise of redefining Tamil TV entertainment for the digital age. All our communication, as well as the much-appreciated media initiatives, stemmed from this singular idea. Beyond its contribution to the channel’s ratings, this campaign clearly demonstrates the demand for original and personalized second-screen experiences amongst digital-native audiences.”



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