To drum up interest in its 'Modern Marvels Survival Guide Week' programming
block that starts Monday (Jan. 29) and to capitalize on the new season of
Survivor on network television, The History Channel has set up a
toll-free hotline featuring former Survivor star Rudy Boesch.
The network also sent an electronic-mail message promoting the toll-free
hotline to almost 750,000 television viewers, senior vice president of marketing
Artie Scheff said. E-mails were sent to History 's list, as well as to lists
purchased from outdoor-enthusiast groups.
The e-mail asks recipients to call 1-866-IN-A-JAM-1 to hear survival tips
from Boesch and to tune in to the primetime series. It was only sent to people
who had given History or other list vendors permission to contact them
electronically with programming- or outdoors-related information.
'This is a very targeted list,' Scheff said. 'None of the people we believe
will consider this junk mail. When you buy nontargeted lists, that's when it
becomes junk mail.'
Scheff expects that once people call the toll-free number and hear Boesch
give tips on how to survive an earthquake or being stuck in a well, they'll
forward the phone number via e-mail to their friends.
'We've done viral e-mails before,' he added. 'In some cases, we ask them to
send it to a friend, but people only do so if they're charmed by the
Although Boesch earned fame as a contender on Survivor last season, he
had previously appeared on History in his role as a former Navy Seal. 'He
matches the kind of guys who watch us very well,' Scheff