Paramount Comedy — one of Viacom International Media Networks’ comedy brands — launched in Russia on Sunday, April 1st with South Park….but buzz around the channel both before, during and after the launch has been building thanks to an off-the–wall viral campaign called ‘Save April 1st’, created in conjunction with Russia’s Ornithology Society.
Yes, you read it right…birds!
As a national April Fools’ Day joke, the ornithologist organization filed a petition to Russian Parliament to ban pranks and April Fools’ Day and replace it with National Birds Day. Fighting to preserve April Fools’ Day for fans of comedy, Paramount Comedy Russia produced a viral video (above) and a special www.aprilfools.ru website – and a Facebook and Vkontakte 10,000 person discussion group – which raised the issue of the threat ot April Fools’ Day and, in the true spirit of 1 April, gave comedy fans in Russia the opportunity prank each other online. The video very quickly went viral in Russia and also received wide press coverage from some of Russia’s leading media and press outlets.
Overall, the aim was to build awareness of Paramount Comedy in Russia – and remind people how much fun April Fools’ Day can be. By taking a creative route with agency Saatchi and Saatchi and local platform RuTube, the social campaign not only helped to build buzz around the channel but also saved April’ Fools’ Day. While, of course, highlighting the importance of birds!
Paramount Comedy Russia is available on the Raduga-TV and QWERTY platforms with distribution set to further grown in the coming months.
Andre Gromkovski is Head of Channel for Paramount Comedy Russia. Speak Russian? Follow Paramount Comedy Russia on Twitter by clicking here.