Ice Cold Gold
sounds a bit like a beer brand. Actually, it's a new series on Animal Planet—albeit
one sponsored by Coors Light.
Animal Planet has been toughening up its "cuddly critters"
image and attracting a larger, more male audience, which has helped it draw a
new set of advertisers including, notably, the beer companies.
MillerCoors has been advertising on relatively new Animal
Planet shows including River Monsters
and Whale Wars, but Ice Cold Gold is the first show it has
sponsored, illustrating that niche cable networks can find success by
broadening their appeal to a more general entertainment audience.
"Coors Light is all about Rocky Mountain cold refreshment,
and Ice Cold Goldis the type of program that helps reinforce that brand attribute,"
says Dan Cohn, VP, national broadcast for Initiative, MillerCoors' media agency
Ice Cold Gold,
premiering on April 21, follows American prospectors searching for precious
metals beneath the melting ice and four billion-year-old rock of Greenland.
MillerCoors sent media companies a request for proposal
looking for TV properties that would be a good fit for Coors Light. "I remember
sitting in the meeting where we were pitching the show and it was as if we
created it for them," recalls Jeffrey Pellegrini, VP of ad sales for Animal
Planet. "Ice cold refreshment is really what they're going for and this program
Ice Cold Gold is set in Greenland and
all of that imagery is the same, the ice-capped mountains and the snow."
The timing of the show is also fortunate. Its final episode is
set to air right before Memorial Day, the gateway to beers' key summer season.
MillerCoors bought the sponsorship as part of a larger
calendar upfront deal that includes male-skewing shows on other Discovery
As part of the deal, Coors Light gets opening
billboards that say Ice Cold Gold is presented
by Coors. In addition to commercials, there will also be billboards during the
show, and lower thirds that will provide additional information about mining in
Greenland with Coors Light branding. Those tidbits will be branded as "Cold
Hard Facts," similar to Coors Light-sponsored segments on ESPN.