Advertising and Marketing

History Wants More Ad Dollars In Its Future

New deal with Ram Truck driven by more contemporary approach 5/02/2011 12:01:00 AM Eastern

Allstate in Good Hands With Investigation Discovery

Fast-growing Investigation Discovery is eyeing bigger deals with bigger clients. The network, whose ratings were up 60% in the first quarter, this week launches an integrated campaign for Allstate that focuses on insurance fraud.

Investigation Discovery produced short-form vignettes telling viewers how to protect themselves from fraud.

“As we prepare for the upfront, we’re seeing a huge uptick in the number of clients that are being attracted to Investigation Discovery,” says Harold Morgenstern, VP national ad sales for ID. “Our objective is to continue to grow the client base and do larger and larger deals as we continue to attract a good audience.”

The vignettes will also be available on other platforms, including allstate.com, Facebook and YouTube.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but Allstate is a large, long-term client of ID parent Discovery Communications.

The vignettes highlight that Allstate employs 500 people in its special investigations unit, an outfit that might qualify for its own show on Investigation Discovery, creating an especially good fit.

“We can’t invent these type of things. Something like that certainly is a layup when a client comes to us with a division like that,” Morgenstern says. —JL

RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: AETN Takes New Name -- A+E Networks -- And New Slogan

When A&E Television Networks—
which is changing its name to A+E Networks—
holds its upfront event on May 4,
the star of the show will be History.

The once stodgy network’s ratings have jumped by
more than 20% in most demos, and it now ranks among
the top 3 cable networks in adults 18-49 and 25-54. That
growth is attracting marketers such as Ram Truck, which
is doing a big sponsorship of History’s Civil War Week.

AETN runs A&E and Lifetime, but “History Channel
is really the amazing growth story, and the amazing
thing is they’re up even more against 18-34. You
would never think History could begin to compete
in the 18-34 category,” says Todd Gordon, senior VP
and managing director for national broadcast at media
agency Initiative.

The young-demos growth has opened new doors for
the network. “They’re able to compete for budgets they
never would have had a shot at before,” Gordon says.

In the upfront, History is looking to turn those new
viewers into ad dollars. “It’s very hard to monetize ratings
points when you’re growing that fast. But with
History, we were able pretty much dollar-for-dollar to
get the value,” says Mel Berning, executive VP of national
ad sales for AETN. “The male skew of History
makes us extremely attractive, and all sorts of people
discovered History as it moved
up the ranks last year.”

Part of the pitch in this year’s
upfront to get big advertisers to
spend more with History is to
convince clients to think of it as
the kind of network they want
to do major marketing programs
with. And History’s more contemporary
approach to programming
under president Nancy Dubuc is creating a better
environment for advertisers looking to reach consumers.

“The goal now is to be more of a marketing partner
and have them see the power of the brand on the scale
of a Nickelodeon or ESPN, some of the networks clients
like to do much bigger initiatives with,” says Peter
Olsen, senior VP, ad sales for History.

Ram Truck is doing that kind of marketing deal in
May during History’s Civil War Week. Ram is sponsoring
Gettysburg, produced by Ridley and Tony Scott,
and a Civil War-themed episode of Pawn Stars. As part
of a multi-layered effort, History is creating a series
of custom vignettes that will run in the shows that
connect Ram’s “Guts & Glory” marketing message to
the life of John Burns, a civil war soldier who showed
perseverance and personal conviction.

With Gettysburg told from the soldiers’ point of view,
“it’s going to be much more emotional and the stakes
are going to be higher….Seeing it from this very gritty
perspective is what really appeals to their campaign,”
Olsen says.

“The brand is resonating more than ever with viewers,
and I think clients are beginning to understand
there’s a much more contemporary take on the history
programming now,” Olsen adds. “That’s a big reason
why more and more clients are coming on board.
They’re seeing a much better environment for them to
run their campaigns.”

“Creating content around the Civil War is a bit of
a prototype of where we’re going with our upcoming
bigger events and the way we’re handling some of our
franchise series,” adds Jamie Cutburth, VP, History
Partnerships. Big events next season revolve around
9/11 and the Vietnam War.

A&E has also been doing well, following up its best
year with the best first quarter in its history. And Lifetime,
which has struggled, will be announcing plans to
increase its original programming, doubling the number
of scripted shows next season to four, growing its
unscripted roster and doubling the number of movies
between Lifetime and Lifetime Movie Channel.

“We even have a couple of advertisers who are looking
at us this year to buy across the three networks,
kind of reviving the old concept of roadblocking on
particular nights, and generating the same kind of
audience mass and reach as you can generate on the
broadcast networks,” Berning says.

Advertisers say AETN has a good track record revitalizing
A&E and History. As for Lifetime, “I think
we’re going to have the proper skepticism til we see
results,” says Initiative’s Gordon. But with History’s Dubuc
now running Lifetime, “there’s a lot of reason to
believe they’ll figure out that puzzle, too.”

Berning adds that AETN is looking to program LMN,
History International and Bio. “We’ve got the big nets
staked out. Now we’re calling out the cavalry,” he says.

Allstate in Good Hands With Investigation Discovery

Fast-growing Investigation Discovery is eyeing bigger deals with bigger clients. The network, whose ratings were up 60% in the first quarter, this week launches an integrated campaign for Allstate that focuses on insurance fraud.

Investigation Discovery produced short-form vignettes telling viewers how to protect themselves from fraud.

“As we prepare for the upfront, we’re seeing a huge uptick in the number of clients that are being attracted to Investigation Discovery,” says Harold Morgenstern, VP national ad sales for ID. “Our objective is to continue to grow the client base and do larger and larger deals as we continue to attract a good audience.”

The vignettes will also be available on other platforms, including allstate.com, Facebook and YouTube.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but Allstate is a large, long-term client of ID parent Discovery Communications.

The vignettes highlight that Allstate employs 500 people in its special investigations unit, an outfit that might qualify for its own show on Investigation Discovery, creating an especially good fit.

“We can’t invent these type of things. Something like that certainly is a layup when a client comes to us with a division like that,” Morgenstern says. —JL

November