BBC World launches ad campaign to generate buzz in New York City

MUMBAI: BBC World launched in the US on 1 June 2006. To support the launch, the channel is running an ad campaign in New York City. The outdoor campaign created by BBDO New York communicates ‘unbiased international news’, through three thought-provoking and impactful creative approaches.

The first –Develop a Point of View- is an interactive digital billboard situated on the corner of Broadway and 50th Street. The first-of-its-kind billboard displays dramatic news photographs and invites people to text in their votes on key news issues. New Yorkers and visitors can vote whether illegal immigrants should be considered 'citizens' or 'criminals'; US soldiers, 'occupiers' or 'liberators'; bird flu, 'imminent' or 'preventable' and China 'befriend' or 'beware'.

The votes will appear on the billboard in real-time and the updated tallies will be broadcast twice daily on WFAN's "Imus in the Morning" show, as part of the BBC World radio promotion.

The second approach -See Both Sides of the Story- uses poster sites featuring photographs creatively wrapped around building corners, with the entire story becoming clear only when the viewer sees both sides of the image.

The poster site imagery takes an impartial look at a Jewish settler struggling against Israeli security officers during a West Bank settlement evacuation; an American soldier guarding a burning oil well in Iraq; French protestors fighting the Paris police force; U.S. border patrol facing Mexican immigrants and an Iraqi family following President Bush's interview in front of a television set.

Whilst the first and second creative approaches communicate BBC World’s core strength of impartiality, the third focuses on the truly global content the channel will bring to US viewers. News Beyond Your Borders is about reminding Americans that there is news outside America and that BBC World gives its viewers that global perspective. It has been appearing from 5 June onwards, via posters and interior cards on commuter rail network.

Each ad is a puzzle, which at first glance appears to be a vaguely familiar map, but on further examination reveals a new and arresting image - a soldier with a gun; a health worker holding an infected bird; a hostage being detained and a city under water. The execution will also appear as an insert in the Financial Times and Newsday in June.

BBC World head of marketing Seema Kotecha said: “BBC World has decided to develop an unprecedented, bold and interactive campaign to generate buzz around New York and spark debate around some of the key global news issues that affect all of us. These powerful images highlight the global perspective and the impartiality of coverage, for which BBC World is known around the world.

“Research shows us that American viewers are increasingly interested in international news, yet most U.S. news networks are spending less airtime on international news stories. We hope to fill this gap in the market and are delighted to have the opportunity to bring our 24-hour global coverage and analysis to North American shores for the first time.”

George Alagiah, a BAFTA award-winning journalist and one of the BBC’s most respected and well-known news anchors, is in New York this week to help officially launch BBC World channel in the U.S. Mr. Alagiah will also be hosting a media breakfast to launch BBC World News Today, a new hour long news programme to be broadcast globally from 3 July.

The 24-hour BBC World channel is available to all iO: Interactive Optimum digital cable customers throughout Cablevision’s New York metropolitan service area on channel 104.

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