NatGeo Turns Up Heat on Promo Campaign

Jan 20, 2008  •  Post A Comment

Realistic-looking news bulletins from the future about flooding in New York and water emergencies in Southern California are part of a multifaceted campaign for an upcoming special on global warming on National Geographic Channel.
The “bulletins” don’t mention the special, “Six Degrees Could Change the World,” or the channel. Instead they direct viewers to isthisourfuture.com, a micro-site for the show.
The spots are airing on Nat Geo, and the network also is putting them on Web sites including YouTube.com, LiveVideo.com and MySpace.com, in hopes that they’ll be distributed virally.
While the spots bring a sense of urgency by using the format of a newscast, it wasn’t the network’s goal to have viewers mistake the ads for a real live report.
“It’s real, but not real enough,” said Kiera Hynninen, senior VP of marketing for National Geographic Channel. But it should be enough to pique their interest in the show.
National Geographic also is running more traditional tune-in spots for the special, which airs Feb. 10. Those spots also will air on Nat Geo’s sister networks owned by Fox, including FX, Fuel and Fox Sports.
The campaign is one of the biggest in the network’s history and they employ more elements than it has ever used.
“We feel it’s a very important show for us,” Ms. Hynninen said, adding it’s part of the network’s “Preserve Our Planet” public affairs initiative.
The program uses high-definition special effects to show what would happen each time the earth warms by one degree.
Advertisers are flocking to the show. The presenting sponsor is Dow Chemical Co. Other advertisers include the Rechargeable Battery Recycling Corp. and Liberty Mutual.
To ensure big viewer tune-in, Nat Geo also is creating a brand train for one month on the Times Square shuttle on New York City’s subway. Graphics in the train car show how with five extra degrees, the Manhattan neighborhood “Hell’s Kitchen will be hotter than hell.”
Web site ngcsixdegrees.com offers an interactive feature that allows users to zoom in on different parts of the globe to see how they’d be affected by temperature change.
Content from the program also is being distributed to YouTube, Road Runner, Window Media, Comcast and MSN Web sites and portals.
After it appears on National Geographic Channel, the show will be available on Comcast’s video-on-demand service and its high-definition VOD service to give viewers another chance to see it.
National Geographic also is working with individual cable operators on promotions.
Comcast, for example, is running an HD promotion around the show with “Six Degrees” messages on the operator’s self-install kits. Comcast also will promote the special with cross-channel spots. Cox and Time Warner are promoting the show with mail to subscribers.
The National Geographic Society is promoting the show with an editorial feature and full-page ad in its monthly magazine.


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