By Malay Desai
From: Grey Worldwide
A promo for the non-fiction channel’s 9 pm slot features its new brand ambassador, actor John Abraham asking the question, “why don’t you sit somewhere incredible for a change?” Before voicing over alternatives. These include the front seat of a Maybach, the back of a croc, a dressing room bench and so on, hinting at the many shows that delve into mysteries. The spot then cuts to many visuals of the channel’s local and international shows and winds up with abraham again. “this is who we are” says the final copy on screen.
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As one drives from the airport towards Bandra on the Western Express Highway, one of the busiest roads of Mumbai, one chances upon a hoarding with a visual of John Abraham posing cheek-to-cheek with a eunuch. On sustained viewing (no prizes for guessing why), one notices the advertiser, National Geographic Channel, and the tagline, ‘Unlock’.
Once at work, one notices a visual or two shared by a friend on social media bearing similar imagery… and later at home, perhaps even stumbles upon a TVC in the same vein. Bottomline – this is how you sell a primetime slot.
In March this year, we’d spoken well of a Nat Geo spot talking about its Hindi version. This however, isn’t about a spot alone, for the channel has recently unveiled Abraham as its brand ambassador and with it, sexed up the 9 pm slot again.
The channel’s only selling what it has best done in the past decade —engaging non-fiction shows such as Megacities and Banged Up Abroad. But to take on the fickle-fingered, reality show-loving viewer takes an integrated approach of this size.
The promo for the timeslot is quite from the template of TV promos, but backed with the multimedia campaign, it manages to arouse much curiosity (we still don’t know what John is doing with the eunuch, but are willing to tune in and find out). Also, it’s slick enough to impress this writer, who believes he’s the target audience.
TV ratings-wise, it’s safe to assume Nat Geo will get nowhere close to the slugfest that’s currently going on between the Colors and Sonys of tellyland. But an earnest attempt never harmed anyone. Where will you sit tonight at 9 — the cockpit of a fighter jet or on a Bigg Boss couch?
To watch this film, feed this link: bit.ly/NatGeoUnlock
‘Humans Of New York’ spurns new FB trend
Here’s a Facebook trend that perhaps tops the list of ‘all time most interesting’ ones, given that the list isn’t too long. It began with American photographer Brandon Stanton beginning to compile pictures of 10,000 New Yorkers to form a catalogue of sorts, in 2010. He stumbled upon quotes and anecdotes from his meetings with these common metro citizens and began posting them along with the visuals. Little did he perhaps know that the initiative would spurn several offshoots in other cities across the world and would fetch him a million or so followers collectively on FB and Twitter. We now see a Humans of London City, Paris, Rome, Israel and intriguingly of Vilnius, in Lithuania which has some sharp portraits.
The subtext here is, social media allows the most common faces to seek admiration from unexpected quarters of the world — age/looks/sex notwithstanding.
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@AltCricket gets banned, gets back
We’ve been following their humour from a while now and have also mentioned them in our follow lists before major cricket tournaments. But now, ‘Alternative Cricket’ is in the news for a doosra that the BCCI bowled at them last week. The Twitter handle of the blog/podcast, popular for being an honest, scathing and ridiculously funny voice, found itself suspended from Twitter, thanks to a complaint filed by the Board. The reason wasn’t tough to decode — AltCricket might have done something to “p*ss someone off again”, but the Board’s approach was totalitarian, going after an old tweet and calling it a ‘copyright breach’. Thankfully, there’s still hope in the world and the handle got support, letters, hashtags and even a trend thanks to its fans. The account is now free and has already made a scalpel of a post titled ‘Living In 1984’.
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How to quit your job by posting a YouTube video
What does a frustrated, night-shift working young lady from a digital content agency do when she can’t
take it anymore? Over 12 million YouTube viewers have found this out in the past week as Marina Shifrin has posted a video of her dancing away to resignation. Neatly bearing her thoughts in the form of chunky text on visuals of her dancing to a Kanye West song, the video entails her travails in the company. “I have put my life into this job, but my boss says quantity, speed and views are more important,” she says, and obviously digital agency-wallas from around the world have high-fived to this. But guess what, her boss is equally cool, he posted a response video within days (which hasn’t touched the same views, but still!) and has made the team dance and do crazier things. Also, he’s said that they’re hiring. How’s this story for an HR process?
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