Discovery in marketing overdrive

NEW DELHI: Discovery Communications India, managing the affairs of Discovery and Animal Planet channels in India, has decided to go in for aggressive marketing initiatives to promote the programming on Discovery, including sending direct mailers and bringing out a 22-page quarterly programming guide in India Today.

Speaking to in a lengthy interview, marketing whiz and managing director of Discovery India, Deepak Shourie, said, "These marketing initiatives are yielding good results as the discerning viewers are talking about Discovery and that is what advertisers and media planners would also like to know."

The glitzy programming guide mailers, titled 'Your Guide to The Finest in Real-World Entertainment', have been sent out to over 6,000 people who can easily form part of India's Who's Who and include judges, media personalities, artistes and even prominent politicians.

But the biggest response to Discovery's initiatives have come from the programming guide which has been sent out with the latest issue of India Today which hit the stands on Sunday evening.

Since there is also a contest where Nokia cell phones are to be won by just sending in one's name and address, till Thursday afternoon some 20,000 entries had already been e-mailed.

On being asked the reason behind choosing India Today over Outlook for the marketing vehicle, Shourie, who has worked with both the newsmagazine, said, "because India Today's reach is more."

However, Shourie did not elaborate whether attaching the quarterly programming guide initiative with India Today would continue beyond October-December. "Let us see what sort of response we get and whether we need to continue with such moves. At the moment I cannot say anything on this," the bespectacled brother of disinvestment minister Arun Shourie said.

The marketing initiatives are part of Discovery India's aggressive plans to hot up things in the infotainment sector where the players include National Geographic, Adventure One and Animal Planet.

Apart from stepping on the gas pedal, Discovery India has also been cutting the flab here. So much so that on-air promos are now being designed and made in India which has "substantially brought down costs" on such activities.


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