Garmin Helps Viewers Find New Travel Channel Show

Sponsors on-screen countdown to Bourdain’s 'The Layover'

GPS maker Garmin is helping the Travel
Channel make sure that viewers find their
way to the network’s new show, Anthony
Bourdain’s The Layover. In an unusual arrangement,
Garmin is sponsoring a countdown clock
will appear in the upper corner of the screen
for eight days before the series' Nov. 21 premiere.

The show is key for Travel Channel. After a
strong start since being acquired by Scripps
Networks Interactive for $975 million in 2009,
primetime viewership dropped 15% in the third
quarter. Bourdain is one of Travel’s biggest stars,
the net is backing the series with a promotional
campaign that includes a significant offchannel
media buy featuring national and local
cable, print and outdoor.

The show’s promotion also represents a shift
in the network’s branding, and reflects concerns
about weakness in the economy by helping viewers
make the most of a situation they are likely
to be in rather than exploring more expensive

The show is already popular with advertisers.
“The suite of advertisers that [we have] on
the show really represents our core categories,”
says Greg Regis, Travel Channel senior VP for ad
sales. In addition to Garmin, Chase—already a
sponsor of Bourdain’s No Reservations on Travel
Channel—is also a major backer of the new series,
promoting its travel-oriented Sapphire card
with spots, billboards and tagged tune-in promos
during the first six episodes. A new Travel Channel
sponsor, Land Rover, is supporting the launch
of its Range Rover Evoque model on The Layover.

Travel Channel expects the series to be a hit
with viewers as well. Bourdain is already popular
with the net’s audience, notes Eleo Hensleigh,
who joined last month as senior VP, marketing.
“He has a following that we think could be broader,”
she says.

The channel started promoting The Layover in
August, during the last episode of No Reservations.

The TV portion of the campaign features Bourdain
explaining the show’s concept in his own words,
showing what he would do if he were stuck in
New York, Singapore or London for 48 hours,
with recommendations that range from “the five
stars to the dive bars.”

Spots will run on networks that appeal to Bourdain’s
fan base, including History, Discovery and Bravo.
Print and outdoor ads use the tagline “Time to
Kill Becomes a Killer Time,” not the “Travel Here”
slogan unveiled during last spring’s upfront.

Hensleigh says “Travel Here” is being “rested”
for the time being. “We’ve evolved some of the brand from what you saw in the upfront,” she
says. “When we feel like there is the right idea at
the right time to express the network’s position,
we’ll either add ‘Travel Here’ back in if that’s it, or
move to something new.”

The channel will also support The Layover with an app for iPhone and iPad that allows viewers to
track Bourdain’s itinerary and the restaurants he