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Samsung supports NGC in its next mission

By afaqs! news bureau , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Media Publishing | January 27, 2009
Mission Navy, National Geographic's next big property, will go on air from February 2

National Geographic Channel is ready with its next Mission, 'Mission Navy: Lehron Ke Sartaj. The show will go on air at 9 pm from February 2.

The channel has roped in a long list of sponsors for the show. Samsung Mobile is the title sponsor, while Idea, HP, Indica Vista, Union Bank, IBM and Mountain Dew are the associate sponsors. Besides, the channel has roped in Café Coffee Day as its on-ground partner and Xbox 360 as its gaming partner. The mega series is also supported by partners such as Yahoo! India, SpiceJet, Fever 104 FM and Pioneer Publicity Corporation.

NGC's & #BANNER1 & # other Mission properties - Mission Everest and Mission Udaan - have created a lot of buzz in the past. Mission Everest involved the Indian Army, while Mission Uddan was in association with the Indian Air Force.

Mission Navy, the current series, is being done in association with the Indian Navy. It comprises seven episodes that aim to provide an insight into the lives of the men who patrol and protect the country from the sea front. The sea forms three-quarters of India's border.

Talking about the mega series, Nikhil Mirchandani, managing director, National Geographic Channel, South Asia, tells afaqs!, "Our Mission properties have always showcased exceptional content, encouraging viewers to re-assess the world they live in. The response we have received for participation in the series has been tremendous."

The channel started on-air promotions to attract participants for the show on Nat Geo and Fox History and Entertainment in September 2008. The participants were driven to a microsite on www.natgeotv.co.in; the microsite received around 50,000 entries from all over India. Out of these, five finalists were selected for the mission after a grilling series of physical and mental tests conducted by the Navy.

The five contestants will now compete with each other and the winner will get a chance to go an international cruise with the Indian Navy. Interestingly, three of the five finalists are women.

Nat Geo has undertaken a 360 degree marketing plan to promote Mission Navy. In addition to Nat Geo, the series will be promoted extensively across the STAR bouquet of channels as well. Plus, several on-ground, online, print, outdoor, radio and SMS campaigns will be run soon.

The band, Euphoria, led by Palash Sen, has sung the title track for Mission Navy.

"We are going to high traffic areas such as schools and colleges to promote the show. Due to the global meltdown, we are working extra hard and have increased our pace of churning out innovative properties that have the capability of attracting both viewers and advertisers," says Mirchandani.

The channel has organised a contest in association with Xbox 360, wherein gaming kiosks have been placed at Café Coffee Day outlets. People can come and play games based on Mission Navy and get a chance to win an Xbox 360.

After this series, Nat Geo's next big property will be Earth Day in April. Though the show will have international content, the activation for the show will be local, customised according to the tastes of Indian audiences.

For the record, National Geographic Channel Asia was launched in 1998. It is a business enterprise of National Geographic Television, NBC and Fox Entertainment Group.

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