Animal Planet Wants Local Viewers To Be Heroes

Network campaigns aid animal-welfare organizations

Animal lovers and pet owners are rewarded under Animal Planet's “Be a Hero” community-outreach campaign Jan. 23-March 6, 2006, an expansion of a successful initiative first launched last January.

The promotion encourages pet owners to be “heroes” to animals in their community. It also provides them with their own at-home pet care and safety kit. Discovery Network affiliates, meanwhile, help out local pet shelters and animal-rescue groups.

“Be a Hero” involves two distinct campaigns, one designed to generate local ad-sales revenue and the other to drive high-speed broadband Internet service.

For every purchase made by consumers at a local business tied into the “Animal Planet Be a Hero” campaign, the network makes a contribution to a local animal-welfare organization in that market.

Consumers who purchase a high-speed broadband Internet connection through participating affiliates receive a free electronic Animal Planet Pet Care and Safety Kit, downloadable from affiliates' Web sites. As a resource for pet owners, the kit provides valuable health-care information and safety tips, ranging from how to look after the long-term health of a pet to administering first aid in an emergency.

Both campaigns direct consumers to local sponsors through on-air cross-channel spots supported by in-store signage and point-of-purchase displays. In addition, each consumer receives an Animal Planet-branded gift as thanks for participating in the campaign.

In last year's debut, “Be a Hero” was a hit with Discovery Networks affiliates, which noted an increase in feel-good community spirit directed at both the network and the local cable system.

“After this promotion finished, I received a call from the Alachua County Humane Society,” notes Brian Hobgood, marketing manager, Cox Media, Gainesville, Fla. “They had their best month of adoptions in their history while this campaign was running. Animal Planet and Cox Media are now their heroes.”