Indian stories compliment Al Jazeera’s campaign

MUMBAI: Al Jazeera has always taken pride in being one of the few channels that focuses on showcasing human centric stories rather than the commercial or business ones. Operating its Arabic and English channels from Qatar, a location unusual for a worldwide TV channel, it has now embarked on a campaign ‘Hear the Human Story’ (HTHS) to highlight its ideology.

Spread across 12 countries globally, but focusing on key areas of Al Jazeera English (AJE) such as UK, South Africa and Australia, it is a six week long campaign which will run till mid December, after which a number of new smaller bursts are planned for the next year.

Designed by Memac Ogilvy Dubai, the campaign has been tailored to suit different market dynamics with primary focus on print, digital and outdoor media. Launch events were held in Johannesburg, London and Sydney, in line with its core markets.

While India is a priority market both in terms of editorial coverage and also viewership, it hasn’t been a focus for HTHS. Says AJE marketing head Kayoko Nidsaid, “India has not been a focus for this particular campaign; however we used stories from India to show the human stories of Al Jazeera. The reason why India was not included in this year’s campaign was because Al Jazeera had only launched its distribution programme and marketing and PR directives last year to coincide with the increased availability of the channel on TV platforms.” 2015 will see more promotional efforts in India.

Speaking about the concept of HTHS, Nidsaid says, “The idea of ‘human stories’ was always built into the ethos and DNA of the channel, the campaign was a natural progression of the Al Jazeera English brand. HTHS is a testament of our commitment to covering people caught up in events in all corners of the globe and aims to reinforce one of our key strengths for our audiences worldwide. We take pride on the human story and fearless journalism.”

India is a rich pool of stories for AJE. In November itself, stories of India marking world toilet day as well as a bank that teaches impoverished children in Ahmedabad on how to save for a crisis, made headlines.

Nisaid says that the AJE workforce has many Indian staff both in editorial as well as non-editorial while the campaign itself saw two Indian stories (the school under the bridge and the Gulabi Gang) being told across its launch areas.

Once the campaign concludes, the results will be analysed by agency TNS.

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