A+E Networks I TV18 has launched History channel in India, and has embarked on a high decibel campaign to promote the launch. The channel has roped in Bollywood star Salman Khan as the brand ambassador for the launch, and has revealed a communication campaign surrounding the shows to be aired on the channel.
Elaborating on the thought behind TV18 venturing into the factual entertainment space, Haresh Chawla, group chief executive officer, Network18, said, “We believe that the Indian market is ripe for alternative formats and that is one of the reasons for us to bring in channels like History into this market. Factual entertainment is emerging as the new preferred choice across the world and the genre has the potential to become main-stream in India as well. We are confident that the channel, the first product from our partnership with A+E Networks, will widen the appeal of the genre and pave the way for many more initiatives in this space.”
Ajay Chacko, president, A+E Networks I TV18, explained, “The channel’s show selection and content mix are based on exhaustive studies, content testing and feedback with a variety of audiences. History, ‘Made Every Day’, the channels position encompasses the breadth of content and themes that the channel brings to Indian audiences – History here is not just about the past, it’s as much about people making history today. We also hope to be able to play a pivotal role in the growth of this genre in India.”
Elaborating on the channel’s positioning, Chacko said, “What History did globally was to reposition itself and look at history differently from the achievement lens. So, it is not necessarily only about the past but also about history being made every day. This gives us lot latitude in terms of programming for us and allows us to reach out to a wider audience. We have a lot of baggage with the word ‘history’ and we have to try and break the mould through the marketing initiatives unveiled.”
As part of the marketing initiatives, the channel is employing a two-minute roadblock featuring Salman Khan introducing the new channel across 12 television channels (CNN IBN, CNBC TV18, MTV, Nick, VH1, IBN 7, Movies Now, Zee Bangla, Zee 24 Taas, Zee 24 Ghanta, Eanadu TV). Outdoor mediums have also been tapped with innovative formats where the content seems to ‘come alive’ and appear real. The channel has also tapped the digital space through social media activities as well as mobile IVRS platforms.
Noting that the shows aired on the channel have a universal appeal, Chacko also informed that the local productions undertaken by the group in the coming months will also follow the same pattern. However, he added, “Based on whatever research we have been doing, we realised that viewers are not coming to the genre to see what they are seeing around them, and want international quality production and great engaging content with interesting narratives. So the local content that we generate will be of standards that can be included to the global library of History. We are already in talks with some of the major format owners and production houses for producing relevant local content which have never been seen in this genre.”
The channel will be launched in six languages – English, Hindi, Marathi, Tamil, Telugu and Bengali.
Client: A+E Networks | TV18 (History)
Agency: McCann Erickson
Executive chairman and chief executive officer: Prasoon Joshi
Production House: Tubelight Films
Director: Prashant Issar