Discovery Communications Inc.’s Military Channel lines up in promotional formation this week, bowing its first consumer marketing campaign with print ads in Sports Illustrated, Time magazine and military and aviation titles.
As part of its deal with Time Inc., the former Discovery Wings Channel (which was relaunched in January) is also placing 1.2 million DVDs containing samples of its programming in issues of SI and Time.
Flanking support will come in a schedule of cross-channel spots on male-oriented cable networks such as Outdoor Life Network, Speed Channel and G4. Discovery will also run promos for Military Channel on Discovery Channel, TLC and other networks it owns.
“I’ve been running emerging networks for about three years, and this is the meatiest and most substantial campaign that we’ve run in my time,” said David Karp, Military Channel senior vice president and general manager. Karp, though, wouldn’t disclose how much money the network will spend on the campaign.
Military Channel is aiming to reach a similar demographic that viewed Discovery Wings Channel, in addition to a broader range of adult men interested in programming about the military, said Karp.
“We’ve had a great response to the network since we launched it just two months ago,” said Karp. “The message I think is pretty clear. We’ve got a network that’s about real human drama, real heroes and real courage.”
The campaign will reflect the focus of the network, he added.
New programming on the channel includes Delta Company, a two-hour special that tracked a Marine tank battalion on its push to Baghdad during Operation Iraqi Freedom, and Top Ten, a series of specials that rank the greatest technological achievements in military history.
Military Channel is also in the midst of releasing its first Nielsen Media Research ratings. Karp said Nielsen may add the network to the list of cable networks that it measures within the next three weeks.