"Who on earth do you think you are?"
Journey of Man, to be premiered on the National Geographic Channel (NGC) on December 15, 2002 (9.00 pm), is at the centre of a high-voltage promo at this point in time. The channel began with a three-city (Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore) PR campaign, led by its chief spokesperson Dr Spencer Wells, who has spearheaded this research across six continents. "He was especially flown down from the US to meet with the press and expand on the research he has undertaken over the last 12 years, which culminated in the programme Journey of Man," says Dilshad Master, senior vice-president, content and communication, NGC. She, however, refused to talk about the exact spends on the promotion citing corporate policy.
In addition to this, NGC has taken recourse to cross-channel promotions to build hype around Journey of Man. "We utilised the strength of the STAR network to promote the show across all its channels," she adds. A print and online campaign is also under way.
Explaining the reason behind the hype around the programme, Master says, "NGC has about three to four global events in a year, which are either major discoveries or explorations made in various fields. We always see a huge surge in our numbers when they are telecast - partly because of the very nature of the programmes and partly because of the awareness generated. For instance, in the case of Egypt: Secret Chambers we had a 300 per cent jump in our TVRs."
Journey of a Man seems to be getting special attention. "It is for the first time that NGC is screening a very high profile programme in the field of science exploration. Journey of Man is particularly big because it touches each one of us. Our research for this programme shows we have all descended from one man - who lived in Africa some 60,000 years ago. In revealing this, Journey of a Man throws all concepts of colour and race and caste out the window," says Master.
It does throw up some interesting prospects. "Just imagine! I could be related to Sachin Tendulkar… Science has proven this to be true - it's just that degree of separation that sets us apart!" says Master.
Along with the made-in-UK international promo, NGC has also unleashed an India- specific campaign with pop group The Band of Boys, which is playing on various channels. "The tag line for this is 'Are We The Band of Boys or A Band of Brothers?'," explains Master. The reason for choosing The Band of Boys? "The most important reason is the it's an all-male band. Which is important because the research focused on the 'Y' chromosome - present only in the male of the species," explains Master.
The programme has managed to get some high profile sponsors too - including Samsung, Himalaya, Aditya Birla Group, Shaw Wallace and Parle. Â© 2002 agencyfaqs!