Duracell Powers Doc Series

Gillette brand ponies up for global effort

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%%STORYIMAGE_RIGHT%% Gillette's battery brand Duracell has teamed with London-based production firm Broadcast Marketing, in creating and launching a six-part advertiser-funded TV show that celebrates human innovation and quest for knowledge. The effort is the first of its kind for Duracell.

Offered to distributors on a barter basis, "Explorations Powered by Duracell," the first installment of which aired Sept. 6, reflects Duracell's efforts over the past year to separate from competitors by abandoning a long-running, category-wide emphasis on value-oriented ads in favor of a campaign focused on the brand's attributes. Duracell introduced in September 2002 its "Trusted everywhere" campaign, which highlights the brand's benefits, such as reliability.

By funding development of "Explorations Powered by Duracell," the content of which is family- and education- oriented, the company aims to further connect the brand with positive activity and content. "This allows us to communicate in a different way [than via commercials] with our target audience," said Barry Soloff, Duracell Manager Global Advertising Communication. Broadcast Marketing came to Duracell in March 2002, armed with only a promotional piece to communicate the show's concept. "We were heavily involved in the concept development," said Soloff.

%%PULLQUOTE_LEFT%% The first installment focused on space exploration. The next show, scheduled to air Saturday, Sept. 13 at 5 p.m. on the National Geographic Channel (with three repeat airings throughout the week), covers evolution, how life began and how human innovation has changed our world. Broadcast Marketing, a subsidiary of the British Broadcasting Corp., used photo and film archives of the BBC in making the shows; Broadcast Marketing brought cable channel National Geographic into the deal; and WPP Group's MindShare Worldwide, Gillette's global media investment management firm, brokered the U.S. broadcast agreement. Overseas, the show will run on local TV as well as on BBC World and National Geographic Channel.

In exchange for funding, Duracell's name and logo appears on the show's Web site, www.explorations.tv; and will appear in local marketing promotions to be executed around the world. All distribution partners must run two 30-second Duracell commercials, break bumpers, and show openings and closings mentioning the battery brand.

By 2004, the show is expected to be aired in more than 100 markets.

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