Discovery Networks U.S. is beginning to put its stamp on
The Travel Channel, which was acquired by parent company Discovery Communications Inc.
earlier in the year.
Discovery is set to unveil three new cross-channel image
and tune-in spots this week as the first phase of its attempt to rebrand Travel.
The changes, according to Chris Mosely, senior vice
president of advertising and promotion for Discovery Networks U.S., begin with
programming. While Travel was previously cast as an information resource for people
planning trips, she said, the revamped network will be more entertainment- and
In fact, the two 30-second tune-in spots, created by
Sweeney/Rasmussen Creative Group and Oceangate Productions, spotlight the network's
best-known series, Lonely Planet, and its hosts, Justine Shapiro and Ian Wright.
All three spots feature vistas and blue skies, along with
the Nelson Eddy song "Beyond the Blue Horizon," performed by Lou Christie (Lightning
Strikes). Among the "core attributes" that Discovery wanted Travel to
convey, Mosely said, were "an immersive experience [that] makes the viewer feels like
he has been immediately transported to a particular destination."
Mosely said Discovery wanted viewers to see the channel as
a destination for entertaining viewing, rather than as a brochure that could be quickly
gleaned for travel information.
The network's challenge, said Lynne Stephens, director
of advertising and promotion for Travel, would be to change the current perception of the
channel as a place where the programming left something to be desired to one of shows that
are seen as "more elegant and stylish," following the example of upscale travel
magazines such as Travel & Leisure and Conde Naste Traveler.
Mosely said Discovery was waiting for the results of more
research on the channel before it came up with a new slogan or "positioning
She added that she expected a full-blown national campaign
for the retooled network by the fourth quarter.