Discovery Kids Kick-Starts Campaign To Push Retail Brand

Discovery-Fireworks-Light-Show-AA new marketing campaign is launching for Discovery Communications' Discovery Kids brand -- but it's not for promoting any kids-targeted TV show.

That's because there is no Discovery Kids TV channel, and no programming block on other Discovery Communications networks. Discovery Kids as a TV channel went off the air in the U.S. two years ago.

But there are Discovery Kids kids' products -- many educationally minded: Discovery Kids-branded laptops, play-tents, pottery wheels and science items. Also, Discovery Kids maintains a host of Web site/digital/app activity. This is the focus of the new brand campaign.

To do that, Discovery Kids is using one of Discovery Channel's strongest TV brands: its "MythBusters" show. "MythBusters" has a strong kids component. In the third quarter, 53% of kids ages 6-11 watched "MythBusters" -- and in October, many did so with an adult.

The aim of using "MythBusters" is linking that show's sometimes crazy attempts -- some of which go wrong -- in attaching a sense of discovery and wonder.

"Discovery Kids is always looking to aspire curiosity," says JP Stoops, director of licensing for Discovery Communications. "The campaign for encourage kids to reach for the stars. We want to show kids they are the future adventurers, leaders, and mythbusters."

The 60-second and 30-second spots feature what the younger versions of "MythBusters" talent might look like in home-video style spots -- creating robots, making weird jello concoctions, duct-taped devices, taking apart electronic equipment and sending driver-less cars in lakes.

The tagline/theme is delivered by "MythBusters" co-hosts' Kari Byron, Grant Imahara and Tory Belleci at the end of the promos: "We are all Discovery Kids. Inspiring Curiosity." Commercials will run across Discovery Networks (Discovery Channel, Animal Planet, TLC) as well as ABC Family, Cartoon Network, Disney XD and Nickelodeon.

This effort comes in contrast to other end-of-the-year holiday kids' marketing. "It is not solely intended to promote product -- although you will see during the last few seconds of the commercials a tag for a few items and a call for action at retail," says Stoops. "We are trying to touch that emotional spot within all of us."

Discovery Kids next plans to roll out a print campaign. A sweepstakes is also in the works to find the ultimate Discovery Kids. Discovery Kids products, sold in Walgreens, as well as Wal-Mart and Target, has about 15 licensees, including a worldwide master toy licensee deal with Jakks Pacific.

"MythBusters" isn't the only kids attraction on Discovery Channel. Other programming -- "Shark Week," "Gold Rush," and "Deadliest Catch" -- pulls in kids viewers. A little over 9 million kids watched Discovery Channel in the third quarter of this year; 18 million adults with kids 6-11 watched Discovery Channel during the same period.

Discovery Kids ran as a TV network from 1996 to 2010. That was when Discovery Communications/Hasbro formed a partnership and launched kids network The Hub. Some of the Discovery Kids programming initially moved to The Hub. Discovery Kids, as a TV network, exists in some international markets.



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