Get Wild.

29 Nov

The Nat Geo promo for the ‘Wild Justice’ series premiere on Sunday, November 28 at 9p urges viewers to ‘pledge’ to watch the premiere on DVR and instead watch football live— watch by clicking link below:

http://www.facebook.com/#!/video/video.php?v=473840554029

One man in the promo sums up the idea to premiere ‘Wild Justice’ during Sunday night football (and from the viewers’ point of view- to actually point out that these men are going to be watching football, not trying out a new series on Nat Geo) quite well: ‘ Terrible idea.’

Or is it?

My initial reaction to the promo: Whoa Whoa Whoa, Hold Up.  You don’t want me to watch the show live?  You want me to DVR it and watch it later?  Really? If you know I’m going to be watching football during the premiere, why premiere Wild Justice during football? Why not wait until a Tuesday or Wednesday night when there isn’t any football on TV?  Hmm… really Nat Geo?

Putting on my marketer’s cap: Hmm… really Nat Geo? Hmm… wait a second… umm… wow! You just made me do a double take!  I’ve never really heard a cable channel say to watch it’s show on DVR rather than live before, and now… you’ve piqued my curiosity.  You are very very sneaky Nat Geo- just when I’m thinking your promo/message makes zero sense, I’m realizing that I really want to watch your show now.  Man you’re good.

Kudos Nat Geo for taking a fresh approach with an unexpectedly clever message.  And while I’ll admit that it’s a somewhat risky move to tell your viewers to just DVR the show, I think Nat Geo has hit promotional gold with the ‘Wild Justice’ pledge spot.  Nat Geo speaks directly to the type of viewers it wants to reach (in brief, ‘manly men’) and does so in such an unconventional way that the message breaks through the clutter.

I also love this spot because it speaks to the changing way in which we view television (a favorite topic of mine- advertising deals needs to adapt to how people actually watch TV) .  Viewers watch a substantial amount of television during playback- and Nat Geo is smart enough to recognize and capitalize on this viewing pattern.  Nat Geo is realistic- most men aren’t going to forgo watching a football game to sample a new show (that they could possibly not like)– but just because they probably aren’t willing to switch from football to Wild Justice live doesn’t mean they aren’t interested at all in the show.  The promo does a great job of telling potential viewers why they would be interested in the show and how easy it is to set their DVR and sample the show on their own time.  Now this is a complete assumption on my part, but I’m guessing this strategy brought in more live viewers than if Nat Geo had gone a traditional route and brought in more DVR viewers as well– a fresh approach like this was bound to catch more than my eye.

And to add to the kudos for Nat Geo and it’s unexpected, fresh DVR approach, as long as viewers watch ‘Wild Justice; in 3 days, it’s all the same to the advertiser.  The current currency for advertisers is C3 impressions – live average commercial delivery+3 days of commercial playback.  So if Wild Justice earns an equal delivery for live delivery alone or live+3 delivery, it’s one and the same to the advertiser since  the Nat Geo has 3 days after the live airing to earn the guaranteed delivery.   (Unless of course the show wildly exceeds expectations and the advertiser gets unexpected ‘free’ impressions from the ‘over’ performance of the show- and in that case, research has failed to correctly estimate the show and left money on the table that could have been sold to another advertiser…)     With this spot, then, Nat Geo is playing hardball with the current advertising model by saying ‘ if we don’t get ’em live, we’ll get ’em for playback.’

The promo’s audacity is at first shocking- don’t watch your show live? Excuse me?- and then once you see the cleverness in the approach makes your smirk as if in on an inside joke- ok Nat Geo, I get it- you’re trying to outsmart everyone… and you may just have figured out a winning approach!

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