Tag Archives: anthony bourdain

Cuba Undercover Outdelivers Bourdain’s Cuba Episode on CNN

Sometimes it’s fun being the indie, scrappy DIY producer. It allows us the ability to do things that “larger” production companies and networks just can’t do, like posing as regular tourists in Cuba in order to document a more authentic story and travel experience.

Anthony Bourdain’s “Parts Unknown” show on CNN is a show I respect. It makes A LOT more money than Raw Travel. In fact, I doubt there is even a worthwhile comparison. I won’t get into all the reasons but suffice it to say that marketers have gotten overwhelmed  with the plethora of media choices available these days and despite the lack of good, travel programming in the USA, it’s hard to compete with outlets like the NFL and Cable News Channels during an election year.

Yet Raw Travel’s audience is consistently larger than Mr. Bourdain’s on CNN which is quiet remarkable when you consider that CNN is a very well known national brand with huge marketing resources and that “Parts Unknown” airs in primetime.

This is not a business blog, so I won’t get too far into the weeds on this one but I will just say I’m proud of what Raw Travel – Cuba Undercover was able to accomplish and from the looks of the audience tune in and reaction our work paid off.

We way over delivered an established celebrity on an established show (Parts Unknown) in primetime (Sunday @ 8PM) on a major news channel (CNN).

His Cuba episode aired to much ballyhoo just when the travel thaw was developing between Cuba & the USA and ours aired a year later during an election cycle (November 2016) when folks were more interested in Hillary vs. Trump than seemingly anything else on the planet.

Do the right thing and the money follows? We’ll see about that.

But at least we know we’re doing the right thing, and that my friends is worth way more than any money any marketer can throw at us.

Thank you for helping us to become the #1 most watched travel show in the United States.

SUMMARY: 

Anthony Bourdain in Cuba Vs. Raw Travel in Cuba                                    In the Fall of 2015, CNN aired Anthony Bourdain in Cuba to kick off Season-3 of “Parts Unknown”

In the Fall of 2016, “Raw Travel” kicked of its Nov’16 sweep with “Cuba Undercover”

Raw Travel out-delivered “Parts Unknown” by more than +50% in all key demos…

“Parts Unknown – Cuba” CNN Sun/9-10P (9/27/15) – FALL 2015  HH 496K                                                                                                                        A18-34 45K                                                                                                                    A18-49 197K                                                                                                                     A25-54 256K

 “Raw Travel – Cuba Undercover” (Wknd of 10/29-10/30/16)        HH 725K (+46%)                                                                                                        A18-34 117K (+160%)                                                                                            A18-49 331K (+68%)                                                                                              A25-54 391K (+55%) 

 

 

 

 

Trinidad – Limin’ in St. James

Port of Spain has been great so far. Food is good, people are friendly and “laid back” is the mantra. I can deal with this. Of course it’s always hard for an ex-New Yorker to keep his cool and chill sometimes, especially since we’re working and up against deadlines. But then my Tennessee roots get a chance to shine and take over.

The gang from "Anti-Everything" enjoying Bake n Shark in Maracas Bay

I finished up my last bit of pre-production by taking in a little Cricket match at the Queens Park Oval. Andres, an ex professional player for T&T and proprietor of the on site Cricket sporting goods store graciously showed me around and we agreed to hook back up on Monday when the film crew is here. Though cricket looks a little slow for my taste (some matches last 2 full days!), the outfits look mad cool and I’m hoping Andres can show me some pointers.

Tassa Drumming in St. James, Port of Spain-Trinidad

Also, last night the guys from the local punk band (yes, the only one on the island), Anti-Everything took me out for a little pre-limin, limin if you will (“limin” is Trini talk for “hanging out”) after letting me sit in on one of their studio sessions as they get ready to record a new CD.

I had a meat pie which was excellent but held off on the Roti and Doubles until the camera can document my first reactions when the crew gets here.  If it’s anything like the meat pie or the bake n shark, well, this show could be come the “No Reservations” episode cause I’m telling you the food here is good. And while I certainly don’t claim to be Anthony Bourdain, I will say that though we normally eschew food segments on the show due to the proliferation of food themed travel shows, for this particular episode, I think we’ll make an exception.

Pretty Trini Girl

I mean in Trinidad you have so much diversity on display simply through the food choices; East Indian, American Indian, African, Spanish, Asian and um, well.. also there is …  British?!

And then there is the music. As you’ve probably guessed punk music is not that big of a deal on an island with only one punk band, but the fact that there is one excellent punk band on the island does sort of speak volumes about how a culture of 1.3 million people are open to different influences. Last night we witnessed some Tassa drumming from East India and it was nothing short of spectacular. I have a little lo fi flip cam video of that coming soon so stay tuned.

Makin' Roti in St. James, Port of Spain

And we’re just getting started. On our first day of filming, we’re heading to the world famous Maracas Bay beach to sample some Shark N Bake (more food!) and then off to Lopilo, the island’s historic Spanish colony before ending the night with a rehearsal from the guys of Anti-Everything.

And that is just for starters! so hang tight, our trip to Trinidad and Tobago has just begun!

More pretty Trinis!