Range Rover Goes on National Geographic’s Expedition

Nov 9, 2008  •  Post A Comment

National Geographic is hitching a ride with Range Rover as it launches Expedition Week, the biggest programming and promotional event in the cable network’s history.
Expedition Week, beginning Nov. 16, features seven nights of specials surrounded by 14 of the network’s best series, according to Kiera Hynninen, senior VP of marketing at National Geographic Channel.
The event is more than a stunt, she said. “It’s really all about the brand. It’s the essence of what we do, who we are as a brand. It’s at the core of our DNA.”
When NatGeo was new and seeking sponsors, one brand that seemed an especially good fit was Range Rover, said Rich Goldfarb, senior VP for ad sales at National Geographic Channel. The maker of rugged vehicles hasn’t advertised on NatGeo for a few years, but is back to sponsor Expedition Week.
“When you think expeditions, you think Geo. When you think expeditions, you think Land Rover, so it was just a really terrific marriage,” Goldfarb said.
The multimillion-dollar Range Rover sponsorship starts with a sweepstakes that sends the winner on an expedition to anywhere in the world. A NatGeo camera crew will document the expedition and produce up to five vignettes showing highlights of the trip.
An online game at a custom microsite allows users to create an avatar that will go exploring in a Land Rover LR3 or Range Rover Sport. The site also links to a user photo gallery.
Land Rover will get spots promoting the sweepstakes as well as tagged tune-in promos on National Geographic Channel and other channels, plus pre-roll ads on NatGeoTV.com.
National Geographic Channel, the No. 38-ranked ad-supported cable net in total prime-time viewers in the third quarter, has developed a multimillion-dollar tune-in campaign with the theme “7 Nights. One Great Discovery After Another.” It will use on-air, off-air, radio, print, the Web and a viral campaign to promote Expedition Week.
The network also is working with its cable operator and satellite affiliates. National Geographic Channel and Comcast are partnering on a multimedia campaign in Boston and Philadelphia. The aim is to convince consumers to upgrade to high definition and to boost awareness of HD VOD.
“We are the No. 1 network requested in HD,” Ms. Hynninen said, citing a Beta Research survey. “It’s a perfect way to reach both of our goals.”
Cable operators will be able to premiere some programs on VOD before they appear on the cable channel.
Expedition Week specials include “The Real George Washington,” “Direct From the Moon,” “Herod’s Lost Tomb” and “Mystery of the Screaming Man.”


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