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John Abraham unlocks Nat Geo

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MUMBAI: John Abraham, who was lauded for his performance in the recent film Madras Cafe, will now take on the small screen in his new role as brand ambassador of the National Geographic Channel.

For starters, the actor-producer has kicked-off a brand new campaign titled ‘Unlock’ as the face of the channel.

Says National Geographic Channel managing director Keertan Adyanthaya:

“With this campaign, we will strive to urge our viewers to be open to new experiences, people, places, cultures and the variety that the world has to offer.”

As brand ambassador, Abraham will take Nat Geo viewers through the various aspects of the campaign, encouraging them to unlock their minds along the way. He will talk about and embody different shows aired on the channel; taking them to the rest of the world.

Says a visibly excited Abraham: “I can hardly contain my excitement at being a part of the legacy that is the Nat Geo channel. I have always been inspired by the yellow window and have followed NGC’s shows religiously. I myself love wild life, I keep on doing crazy things in life, and I am sure that the viewers and my audience will enjoy this journey with me.”

But why did an established name like Nat Geo feel the need to rope in someone like Abraham in the first place? Replies National Geographic and Fox International Channels vice president (marketing) Debarpita Banerjee, “We as a channel believe in whatever we say. John truly believes, the way we look at the channel and the content. And it was just fate; he truly experiments with life. You can see the kind of movies he supports, the kind of life he lives, and his enthusiasm for bikes and wild life. He thinks that life has lots to offer. So first the word ‘Unlock’, then John – they came together and it was a nice explosion.”

Coming to the choice of name, Banerjee says: “We were looking for a simple word, and this encapsulated everything we wanted to say. It is all about unlocking your mind, fears, opening your outlook, new possibilities, not having any prejudices, looking at a new world in a new way. We went through lots of iterations and finally came up with one word, ‘Unlock’.”

The campaign is in collaboration with Grey Worldwide, which was roped in as Nat Geo’s strategic and advertising agency. Nearly 25 per cent of the total annual marketing budget has been spent on it.

As part of marketing and promotion, Nat Geo plans to telecast promos on other channels as well, apart from focussing on outdoor and other activities. Plans are afoot to make use of social media such as facebook.com, where an official page will be launched where fans will not only be able to see but also share their views that would be rooted to Abraham for his feedback. The channel already has a laudable six million likes on Facebook.

So what does the future look like? “We want to take ‘Unlock’ to children, because they harbour a lot of fear of the unknown, of the dark, of the great outdoors. So we want to take ‘Unlock’ to summer camps. Youth is very interesting and they are buzzing with ideas. We also want to have an innovation conclave where they can submit their ideas by unlocking their imagination,” says Banerjee.

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