STAR India, one of the leading digital television networks in India, is to extend its support for two more years for the "HIV/AIDS stigma reduction and prevention campaign" in the country.
The campaign known as the Heroes Project is the largest non- governmental public service campaign in the sub-continent.
Since the launch of the Heroes Project on TV in 2004, it has been instrumental in bringing the HIV/AIDS message into the mainstream media.
The two-year extention until 2009 sees STAR India's group TV networks adding more than US$9.26 millions worth of additional airtime under its five-year commitment to $23.16 million.
The announcement was made at the XVI International AIDS Conference taking place in Toronto, Canada.
Richard Gere, Co-Chair of the Heroes Project made the announcement.
The relationship with STAR India, conducted in partnership with Avahan the India AIDS Initiative of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation has helped the Heroes Project reach an estimated 70 million television viewers.
The Project’s award-winning Public Service Announcements (PSAs) have aired over 11,500 times in three languages across STAR India TV channels including its popular networks, STAR PLUS and STAR ONE. The collaboration has also incorporated HIV/AIDS messaging into several primetime shows such as Kaun Banega Crorepati’s mega-hit series starring revered actor, Amitabh Bachchan.
Star India says that one of the most innovative highlights of the partnership has been the use of “SMS” (text messaging) in its campaigns, developed by STAR India’s creative team.
The interactive campaign was launched in two phases and drew an extraordinary response of approximately 200,000 hits over a three- month period; 90,000 of which were unique numbers.
According to K Sujatha Rao, Project Director, National AIDS Control Organization, “In a very short time, Heroes Project has reached out and connected to key segments of the Indian population, through effective use of mass media and celebrities.”
Digital Broadcasters Vendor News wishes continuing success to the Star India, HIV/AIDS awareness campaigns.