The Discovery Channel (US broadcast television outlet) has announced a new television show, Curiosity, which will have only four sponsors. Intel has agreed to commit at least $10M over 60 episodes. The first airing is Aug. 7, 2011 in the US with global broadcasting (210 countries and territories) to start in Sept. 2011. From Brad Steinberg’s July 13, 2011 article in AdAge MEDIAWORKS,
Intel has committed at least $10 million to sponsor Discovery Channel’s new series “Curiosity,” which will feature ads from only four advertisers in total.
“Curiosity” represents something of a change for Discovery, whose highest-profile programs until now have comprised big-budget documentaries such as “Life” in 2010 or “Planet Earth” in 2006. “Curiosity” is more akin to “60 Minutes,” exploring topics from intelligence to neuroscience to nanotechnology. [emphasis mine]
Intel will serve as a “presenting partner” of “Curiosity,” said Nancy Bhagat, VP-marketing strategy at Intel. In addition to running elements in four premiere episodes of the show and appearing on its website, Curiosity.com, Intel will participate in initiatives from Discovery’s education unit designed to involve students. Social media and mobile marketing are also part of the mix.
Intel hopes to avoid the hard sell, said Ms. Bhagat. “It’s not about us launching a new ad campaign,” she said. “It’s really about the content behind the idea of ‘Curiosity’ itself.”
But viewers will find it difficult to avoid Intel’s messages. Discovery will create short-form vignettes featuring Intel employees discussing what sparks their curiosity. Intel will also be the centerpiece of a show segment called “What Makes Us Curious.” The Intel-backed content will prod viewers to go online to learn more about specific topics. Intel will make use of “Curiosity” in more than 40 countries.
Yes, I imagine it will be awfully hard for viewers to miss Intel’s messages.