Verizon, Discovery Partner for Multiplatform Campaign

Discovery and Verizon are in the middle of a multiplatform campaign that ties Discovery's Internet properties along with TV and direct mail in an effort that will hand out money to schools and teachers.

The deal centers on Verizon's sponsorship of School Tools, a part of the Discovery's schools Web site the provides resources for teachers and students. Dina Roman, VP/general manager of Discovery iMedia Sales and Development, said that Verizon came to them with the goal of creating a branding effort. The branding effort was built around another initiative, which hands out money to teachers for use in their classrooms and 5% of new customers' long-distance spending to the school of the customer's choice. They came up with the idea of using Discovery's brand and other assets to boost awareness of the contest.

The Verizon/Discovery-branded portion of Discovery's website includes free resources for teachers and students like clip art, ideas for science projects and links to Web sites to help with homework. It also includes information on how to enter the contests.

Roman said that the partnership showed what companies like Verizon could do by employing the varied assets of Discovery Communications. In the Verizon partnership, both online and offline assets were used along with Discovery's database of addresses and its retail-store chain. Discovery recently mailed a co-branded mailing of the Discovery Channel school catalog to 50,000 households.

Roman said that cross-platform opportunities are part of everyday business at Discovery. "It's part of the culture here," she said.

Space on Discovery's television networks are also part of the Verizon campaign, with 30-second spots that run on the network that announce the partnership and how viewers can go online and learn more about the Verizon program. Content on the Web site drives online users back to the television. "It's not just about watching television and driving to the Web, but going to the Web and driving back to television," she said.

"Partnering with Discovery iMedia's Discovery.com for our Extra Credit for Schools program provides another resource for America's kids, and brings two strong brands together to foster learning through interactive means," said Mark Adams, executive director of consumer marketing for Verizon.

The program runs through June.

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