A lot of people talk about branding TV networks. Chris Moseley, senior VP-marketing and communications of Discovery Communications, has been doing something about it.
Ms. Moseley cultivated the Discovery and Learning Channel brands to the point that in Total Research Corp.'s 1995 EquiTrend Study, which measures consumers' quality recognition of brands, Discovery ranked No. 2 and Learning Channel fifth among all media brands.
Moreover, the survey found Discovery Channel is now one of the best-regarded among non-media brands, too. Discovery placed well ahead of such venerable consumer names as AT&T, IBM, PBS and The Wall Street Journal.
The most meaningful measure of all, however, is Discovery and Learning Channel's healthy Nielsen ratings gains. According to Nielsen Media Research, Discovery Channel's ratings jumped 10% from the first quarter of 1994 to 1.1 for the first quarter of this year.
These achievements are due to Ms. Moseley's aggressive marketing campaign, including one of the biggest consumer ad budgets of any basic cable network.
Initially, she had to convince Discovery's management the hefty media outlay-currently close to $20 million annually-would pay off. But five years later, she's been vindicated. The advertising has generated higher ratings that translate directly into higher ad revenues.
For example, a heavy tune-in campaign for Discovery's "Carrier" special generated a 4 Nielsen rating nationally, high for a basic cable network, and attracted sponsors including MCI, Northwestern Mutual Life and Dodge.
Likewise, media spending to support "Submarines" generated big numbers, with ads targeted at the military, and brought in Jeep/Eagle and Pennzoil as advertisers.
Discovery handles its creative in-house and works with DeWitt Media, but Ms. Moseley, 45, devised the unusual media strategy that ranges from the use of moving LED signs on telephone kiosks to buys on competing cable channels.
Because many cable networks had a policy against selling ad time to competing networks, Ms. Moseley sidestepped them and bought time on the channels via local cable systems.
Now that the Discovery TV brand has been established, Ms. Moseley is reinforcing it in new multimedia, theatrical and even retail venues, including a chain of Discovery retail outlets (see related story, Page S-23).
"The research shows ..... we outrank Duracell batteries, and they've been outspending us for years," Ms. Moseley marvels.