Think again, National Geographic isn't that serious any more

By , agencyfaqs! | In Media Publishing | April 21, 2005
Media planners think the channel's gimmicks would not be a problem as long as the channel sticks to its core positioning

National Geographic has donned a new look with a new tag line - Think Again. & #BANNER1 & # The channel aims to be more entertaining now, apart from maintaining its core positioning of being informative.

As the channel executives explain, "We needed to be more contemporary and relevant. That's what the new positioning is all about."

The channel has drafted some sure-fire ways to become more entertaining, relevant and contemporary. The first one - rather obvious in India, actually - is through Bollywood, a successful formula adapted by many other channels.

National Geographic has lined up the cast of the forthcoming release - Kaal - to host its show 'Jungle Fever'. For the next four weeks, Ajay Devgan, Vivek Oberoi, John Abraham and Lara Dutta will host one episode each of the show, which will be aired every Sunday at 10 pm.

This is not all. The channel has made efforts to bring in a host of fresh new programmes. As Dilshad Master, senior vice-president, content and communication, National Geographic, says, "The episodes of Nat Geo Investigates can be compared to any Hollywood thriller movie."

The channel has also launched several new shows such as 'Ultimate Survivor' and 'In the womb'. Even existing shows such as 'Megastructures', 'Frontlines of Construction', 'ShowReal Asia' and 'Taboo' will have fresh new episodes.

'In the womb' takes viewers to an experience all of us have gone through, but do not remember. The show, which will be aired on Mother's Day, is the journey of life before birth.

With all these efforts, the channel certainly means business. An ambitious Nikhil Mirchandani, head of advertising sales, NGC Networks, hopes that by the end of fiscal 2006, the channel will see a 200 per cent revenue growth.

He says, " With our new image, we will not only invite new viewers, even our existing viewers will spend more time on the channel."

Close watchers of the industry such as Amin Lakhani, director, Group M, says, "In the last one year, the entire genre of niche channels such as Discovery and National Geographic has grown both in terms of viewership and revenues. So NGC's claim to see a revenue growth of 200 per cent doesn't look difficult."

He, however, puts in a word of caution. "Channels such as National Geographic are rated more for their qualitative aspect than the quantitative one. So, in the race of getting more viewership, the channel should not shift from its core positioning and expertise."

Sandeep Tarkas, chief executive, Media Direction, belongs to the section of planners, who prefers a channel such National Geographic for its mega properties. He says, "These special programmes are promoted aggressively and also ensure high viewership."

He adds, "Niche channels such as NGC are also taken for its frequency. During prime time, the TVR of this channel may even be zero. But at other day parts, the channel may get a high viewership. In sum, you get a return on your investment."

The channel has set a premium to its advertising rates. For instance, the 'Kaal' special is being hawked at Rs 5,000 for a 10 seconds slot. Although these rates are negotiable, media planners feels this is on the higher side. 2005 agencyfaqs!

Search Tags