The History Channel stresses relevance to modern life

The History Channel is starting an advertising counterblast against Henry Ford’s famous dictum that ’history is bunk’ with a new campaign that aims to prove its offering is not dull and boring.

The History Channel is starting an advertising counterblast against

Henry Ford’s famous dictum that ’history is bunk’ with a new campaign

that aims to prove its offering is not dull and boring.



It is putting between pounds 1 million and pounds 2 million behind a TV

and national poster drive featuring some of the 20th century’s most

memorable events, and challenges Ford’s observation with the line, ’So

history’s bunk, is it?’



The advertising is in line with the channel’s strategy of not promoting

specific programmes. It aims to demonstrate history’s relevance to

modern life and to persuade would-be viewers to take the channel as part

of their Sky TV package.



The ads are the work of Barry Smith, the former Publicis creative chief

turned freelance who is working as the channel’s creative director on a

three-month contract, and Gary Denholm, the former BDDP and KHBB art

director. Media is through Universal McCann.



’Our strategy is to make history sexy and to show people that they can

learn from it,’ Smith said.



’The advertising is about increasing the channel’s share of voice within

Sky.’



Four 30-second ads break across the Sky network this Friday. In one the

dignity of Churchill’s funeral is juxtaposed with Hitler’s ranting. In

another, footage of John Kennedy’s assasination runs to the soundtrack

of Marilyn Monroe’s rendition of Happy Birthday Mr President.



The 48- and 96-sheet posters feature a 180-degree shot of Hiroshima

after the atomic bomb had dropped - the first time the city’s Peace

Museum has allowed such images to be used for advertising - and the

ovens of the Auschwitz concentration camp.



’This advertising is right up there with Benetton without being

gratuitous,’ Smith added.



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