There is an old saying, which says what we are yesterday is what we are today, and what we will be tomorrow is because of what we are today. History channel follows the same ideology, says Charath Narsimhan, Vice-president-Marketing.
The channel is trying to break away from the conventional mould. New marketing initiatives, new programmes and ‘newness’ to past is what you will see this season. The channel is coming up with two new series in December—Plot to kill Hitler and History Rocks.
From Bon Jovi to Bob Dylan, History Rocks aims to give a sneak peak into their lives and their rise to stardom. “Music is one thing that really interests everybody and for the slightly upper market English music has always worked well. Some of these legends we have been hearing on the radio, cassettes and CDs. History channel have had the opportunity to get behind their lives and go on a journey, as they became legends. History Rocks is therefore about eight pop legends and we are playing it on the weekend,” says Narsimhan. A strong marketing campaign is also lined up to promote the programme through radio and the on-air channel promotions.
With the History Rocks series, the channel is trying to get the young generation to take a trip to the past just to know how these rock legends have made it to the present. “We are coming up with shows that are from recent history. We want people’s perception to change that History channel is about dated History. Our attempt has been to make it more accessible to people, as there are many aspects of modern and contemporary history that is very interesting,” he says.
“Plot to kill Hitler” is also an attempt to invoke the past. “How many people actually know that there were five plots laid out to kill Hitler?” he asks. “The idea is to tell people how the attempts were made to kill Hitler and things would have been different if any of them would have been successful.”
The channel has major plans for the coming year. “For starters we have a whole new series of shows coming on. It will kick off in from January in a phased manner over the next two to three months. So we have eight to nine new shows coming up on the back of all that we launched over the last one year,” he said.
An aggressive two-fold marketing plan has also been lined up. “One will be to clearly talk about these shows, like what we did for Biographies on a smaller scale for lifestyle.tv and for all our new shows. The second thing we will do is contemporarise history in our communication to make it more relevant for the people,” Narsimhan said.
History channel appears set to take viewers from the present to the past and then to the future in the coming year. “This is our way of saying that if you know a little about what happened in the past, you would know why we are so today. And probably this way we will be able to judge how we will be tomorrow. That’s our idea to bring it alive completely,” Narsimhan observed.