Discovery Channel Augments Its Reality to Reel in Viewers for Sixth Season of Tentpole Series Deadliest Catch

Discovery Channel Augments Its Reality to Reel in Viewers for Sixth Season of Tentpole Series Deadliest Catch

NEW YORK, April 12, 2010 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ –Approaching its 25th Anniversary in June, the Discovery Channel has launched a series of media strategies that demonstrate the same level of imagination and creativity that transformed the network from “the science channel” to one of the most innovative programmers on the air today.

Following on the heels of the immersive interpretation campaign for the premiere of the network’s highly anticipated LIFE series last month – an effort that featured a number of first of its kind executions with media partners – Discovery and its media agency PHD are raising the bar again with an Augmented Realty campaign supporting the April 13 sixth season premiere of the network’s long-standing hit Deadliest Catch.

As Discovery Communications VP of Marketing Strategy Donna Murphy explains, “When a show is in its sixth year – even a hit show like Deadliest Catch – it needs something extra to recharge viewers. Factor in several new entries in the action-documentary genre, and you’re looking at multiple marketing mandates: Refresh the offer to reinvigorate the base, reduce churn and draw in new viewers.”

PHD responded with another first-of-its-kind execution – the first Augmented Reality gaming execution.

The Augmented Reality game was inspired by target insights showing that the Deadliest Catch audience is comprised of thrill-seeking adults who search for entertainment filled with danger and drama. The Augmented Reality game, which was designed by Total Immersion, hooks viewers into the adrenalized world of crab fishing. To make viewers feel as if they’re in the middle of the heart-pumping action, users are challenged to catch crab pots while navigating treacherous seas.

Beyond the gaming execution, Discovery’s campaign differs significantly from previous AR executions in the cross-platform media strategy that PHD constructed, highlighted by a number of unique traditional and digital integrations designed to drive users to the game.

In the first phase, executed during the last week in March, the game was shared across Facebook and Deadliest Catch fan sites, reaching more than a quarter million users. Phase Two began April 1, adding a month-long mass media outreach to the social component, including:

* Print
o Supporting game activation through print ads in six publications including ESPN, Sports Illustrated, Rolling Stone, People, Entertainment Weekly, and Men’s Journal

* Digital
o Sharing AR game through digital “Click to Print” effort that enables users to print the trigger to initiate the Deadliest Catch game experience
o Promoting AR game across ESPN.com, MSN.com, and TVguide.com
o Promoting AR game through custom e-mail blasts targeting publications’ subscriber databases

* On-Air
o Promoting AR game during Deadliest Catch episodes through IPM (in-program mention) digital overlays – another campaign first – that began April 1 during series reruns and will continue with premiere episode beginning April 13.

* Experiential
o In another first-of-its-kind execution, Discovery Channel expands the reach of the Deadliest Catch AR game by showcasing the game on large digital screens mounted on the sides of Mobile Video Trucks designed by All Points Media
+ Brand Ambassadors will conduct street events where they will invite consumers to participate in the AR game
+ Events were conducted from April 7 to April 11 in NY (Citi Field, Discovery Channel Upfront presentation, Union Square) and Washington, DC (Nationals Stadium, Dupont Circle, National Mall)

“When you create an extraordinary digital execution, you’re still only halfway toward delivering an effective marketing solution,” says PHD’s Andrea Montano, Vice President, Strategy, and Group Director for the Discovery account. “To complete the job you need a media strategy that not only assures optimum reach, but also differentiates a digital platform in an environment where the ‘wow’ bar rises exponentially on an almost daily basis.”

About Discovery Channel

DISCOVERY CHANNEL (DSC) is dedicated to creating the highest quality nonfiction content that informs and entertains its consumers about the world in all its wonder, diversity and amazement. The network, which reaches 98.1 million viewers in the U.S., can be seen in over 170 countries, offering a signature mix of compelling, high-end production values and vivid cinematography across genres, including science and technology, exploration, adventure, history and in-depth, behind-the-scenes glimpses at the people, places and organizations that shape and share our world. For more information, please visit www.discovery.com.

About Discovery Communications

Discovery Communications (Nasdaq: DISCA, DISCB, DISCK) is the world’s number one nonfiction media company reaching more than 1.5 billion cumulative subscribers in over 170 countries. Discovery empowers people to explore their world and satisfy their curiosity through 100-plus worldwide networks, led by Discovery Channel, TLC, Animal Planet, Science Channel, Planet Green, Investigation Discovery and HD Theater, as well as leading consumer and educational products and services, and a diversified portfolio of digital media services including HowStuffWorks.com. For more information, please visit www.discoverycommunications.com.

ABOUT TOTAL IMMERSION

Total Immersion (www.t-immersion.com) is the global leader in augmented reality. Through its patented D’Fusion® technology, Total Immersion blurs the line between the virtual world and the real world by integrating real time interactive 3D graphics into a live video stream. Leading the augmented reality category since 1999, the company maintains offices in Europe (France and UK), Asia and in the U.S., and supports a network of more than 70 partners worldwide. Find the latest news concerning Total Immersion projects at: http://augmented-reality-news.com.

ABOUT PHD MEDIA

Founded in London in 1990 as the first strategic media agency, PHD (www.phdnetwork.com) is a proven innovator in communications design and execution with 2,000 employees in over 60 countries.

The PHD Network is part of the Omnicom Media Group (www.omnicommediagroup.com), a division of Omnicom Group Inc. (NYSE: OMC) (www.omnicomgroup.com). Omnicom is a leading global marketing and corporate communications company. Omnicom’s branded networks and numerous specialty firms provide advertising, media, direct and promotional marketing, public relations and other specialty communications services to over 5,000 clients in more than 100 countries.

SOURCE Omnicom Group Inc.