ANIMAL PLANET PACKS A PUNCH WITH INNOVATIVE AND CREATIVE MARKETING CAMPAIGN FOR "TAKING ON TYSON"
Network's Marketing Effort Mixes Traditional and Non-Traditional Elements to Underscore the Intimate, Personal Transformation of a Legendary Athlete and Reaches a Surprisingly New Audience for Animal Planet
(March 3, 2011, New York, NY) - Animal Planet launches its groundbreaking series, TAKING ON TYSON, with an extensive and provocative multi-platform marketing campaign designed to reach both men and women; engage those who already think they know Mike Tyson; and provoke those who should discover his surprisingly human side. In addition to a traditional media plan, the network's marketing unit has created innovative partnerships with a diverse range of national media brands, including the ESPN family of networks, Wenner Media publications (US Weekly, Rolling Stone and Men's Journal), African-American media, local radio promotion and online through FunnyorDie.com. Throughout the week prior to premiere, TAKING ON TYSON spots will run across key cable outlets including A&E, History and TNT as part of a traditional buy.
TAKING ON TYSON, a six-part docudrama debuting Sunday, March 6, at 10 PM, delivers on the network's "Surprisingly Human" brand platform, showcasing sides of Mike Tyson's enigmatic personality as never before seen. The series profiles the former athlete as he reconnects with his roots and returns to his childhood neighborhood to embrace his passion for pigeons and face his next challenge, pigeon racing.
"The marketing campaign supports the "Surprisingly Human" aspects of the series and was designed to feel big, revealing, relatable and bold," says Victoria Lowell, senior vice president of marketing & operations for Animal Planet. "We'll have presence within content that features human interest stories to reflect that TAKING ON TYSON is an intimate look at a man in the midst of a personal transformation."
The depth of Tyson's transformation is reflected in the multiple layers of Animal Planet's integrated partnership deals. To promote the series, Tyson will have a significant presence throughout the ESPN media family during the week leading to the premiere. Custom content on ESPN2, ESPN Classic and ESPN.com will be complemented with print units and advertorials in ESPN The Magazine. Articles and interviews on ESPN.com will peel back the layers on this complex athlete in his post-boxing career life. Animal Planet also collaborated with Wenner Media for a multi-platform partnership that includes full-page ads in US Weekly, Rolling Stone and Men's Journal as well as advertorials in the first two of these publications in addition to TAKING ON TYSON home pages takeovers of USWeekly.com and RollingStone.com with supporting media on MensJournal.com.
Out of Home
TAKING ON TYSON will dominate the Times Square subway station in New York throughout the entire month of March, creating - literally - an in-your-face, larger-than-life installation featuring Mike Tyson as never seen before, leveraging both his tough exterior and soft interior. The station domination and takeover deliver on "Surprisingly Human" by using artistic creative that positions Tyson as a character sharing equal time with his beloved pigeons. In addition, there is a billboard on the West Side Highway with similar creative. The marketing creative also plays upon New York as a character itself in the city, so the buy and placement go hand in hand with the creative.
Spots will run in National Cinemedia theaters within major films like The King's Speech and Black Swan. Mike also was featured in the groundbreaking online forum FunnyorDie.com as he taped Oscar film-related comedy spoofs. For the first time, Animal Planet is running a YouTube homepage takeover which will run the day of premiere and will provide a sneak peek of TAKING ON TYSON and two featurettes - "Hear Tyson Unedited" and "Meet the Contenders." The YouTube takeover also will allow viewers to "Take on Tyson" in the activity of their choice.
Targeting the African American Audience
In addition, Animal Planet has dedicated a portion of their marketing budget to target the African- American demo. Spots will run in BET's The Game, TBS' Meet the Browns and the CIAA Basketball Tournament. Additionally, Animal Planet will promote TAKING ON TYSON in three of the nation's leading syndicated African-American morning radio shows - Tom Joyner, Rickey Smiley and Russ Parr. During the week of premiere, the radio hosts will encourage listeners to enter for a chance to compete against Mike Tyson in an on-air trivia contest with a chance to win a grand- prize trip to New York City.
About TAKING ON TYSON
From the rooftops of Jersey City to the streets of Brooklyn, this six-part docudrama profiles enigmatic Mike Tyson as the boxing legend reconnects with his roots and returns to his childhood neighborhood to face his next challenge. Tyson has held a lifelong passion for raising pigeons. They've provided him with solace, tranquility and escape throughout his difficult childhood and tumultuous life. Now, along with a band of close friends who share his love for these avian athletes, he enters the fascinating realm of pigeon racing. TAKING ON TYSON is a bizarrely enriching window into Mike Tyson's complex life, where the path to self-awareness, the rehabilitation of a man's humanity, the vision into the future... is with these birds.
About Animal Planet
Animal Planet Media (APM), a multi-media business unit of Discovery Communications, is the world's only entertainment brand that immerses viewers in the full range of life in the animal kingdom with rich, deep content via multiple platforms and offers animal lovers and pet owners access to a centralized online, television and mobile community for immersive, engaging, high-quality entertainment, information and enrichment. APM consists of the Animal Planet television network, available in more than 97 million homes in the US; online assets www.animalplanet.com, the ultimate online destination for all things animal; the 24/7 broadband channel, Animal Planet Beyond; Petfinder.com, the #1 pet-related Web property globally that facilitates pet adoption; and other media platforms including a robust Video-on-Demand (VOD) service; mobile content; and merchandising extensi