Quick five with Debarpita Banerjee on Nat Geo Wild

“Post digitisation, the scope has increased for niche channels,” says the VP, Mktg & Communication, NGC Networks & Fox Int'l Channels

e4m by Synjini Nandi
Updated: Dec 20, 2012 4:46 AM
Quick five with Debarpita Banerjee on Nat Geo Wild

Fox International Channels (FIC) is all set to launch its wildlife channel, Nat Geo Wild, in India across all platforms this month. With a promise of “Follow your Instincts”, the channel aims to delight the fans of wilderness in India.

In conversation with exchange4media, Debarpita Banerjee, Vice President, Marketing and Communication, NGC Networks and Fox International Channels, India talks about the launch of Nat Geo Wild in India, ‘The Wild Wild Fest’ and the increasing opportunities for niche channels post digitisation.

The network is all set to launch Nat Geo Wild across all platforms in India. Could you elaborate on the content strategy for the channel?
NG Wild began operations in 2009 when it was available across select DTH networks and is now available across all DTH platforms, digital markets, and leading cable operators. We already reach a substantial 30 million households, and that too in 3 languages English, Hindi and Tamil. The content strategy is simple. The best of wildlife served in its most original form- primal, untamed, raw. And that is what makes our content the award winning blue chip documentaries that they are.

In terms of positioning, the channel would be pertaining to the wildlife genre. What would be the differentiating factor that would set it apart from the other channels in this genre?
Nat Geo Wild has content that has been made with a lot of expertise and years of research. That would be its first differentiator. The second differentiator is in the way we look at wildlife – its truest uninhibited form. As a philosophy we propagate “Follow your instincts” and that shows in all the content we have on the channel. Its energetic, raw and very up-close and personal with the wildlife.

What are the marketing and communication plans for the channel? What are the different media platforms that you plan to focus on to create a buzz about the same?
The channel will be very active through all new media. There will also be presence in conventional media when we have key shows coming up. But then, channels like National Geographic and Nat Geo Wild are so much more than just television content . There are values, beliefs, philosophies, and above all, passion. And we would like more and more people to get a taste of this heady passion. Which is why, for the first time ever, we are creating a potent shot of the channel for people to taste, through The Wild Wild fest. The first of its kind, where people will be shown a carnival of a very different kind.
Starting from a very eclectic music line up with the leading bands of India, from Rock, Fusion and Electronic genre- Indus Creed, Advaita, Hari & Sukhmani, BlOT, Menwhopause, Jalebee Cartel, to name a few; to the ambience of the Wild, to rare photo exhibitions from the channel’s repertoire, and add to that a flea market and a wild cafe, the Wild Wild Fest is an all day treat for lovers of a good time. There is even a wild arena with tattoos, body painting, wall graffiti- where people can express themselves. Starting this off, on an easy Saturday,22nd of December,  in Delhi, the channel hopes it’s a beginning for many more to come such experiential marketing ideas.

Could you share the global outlook on the status/ growth of the factual entertainment genre in other key markets? And comparatively, how has the genre evolved in India?
The genre is growing. Factual entertainment is more than just factual informative shows, today. There is enough room for experimentation. Which is why fresh new formats are coming up in this genre. If you look up NGC now, you will see a show called Doomsday Preppers- a show about people who have been preparing for the end of the world. And there are many such fresh formats across both NGC and NG Wild. India is also growing pretty much in the same direction. People have discovered infotainment as entertainment, and hence, is very encouraging for us.

What are the future plans and vision for the brand?
Digitisation is a big opportunity. So we definitely plan to reach more viewers. And keep giving the viewers world class content displayed in its truest form- WILD.

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