Upon receiving the brief, Sky Media immediately recognised that Military History was the perfect fit for the Combat Tanks campaign. Military History is the only channel in the UK dedicated to 100% military content, offering in-depth programmes to a predominantly male audience. The channel offers a wide array of content to over 1.3 million adults every month, with programming that covers conflicts, the technology of warfare, war vehicles and the human side of war. The channel’s repertoire also includes tank-specific programming which attracts both history and military enthusiasts – surely a match made in heaven.
This was the first sponsorship campaign to take place on the Military History Channel and only the second TV sponsorship campaign for De Agostini. It was important to both parties that they got it right. De Agostini’s brief was three-fold: raise awareness of their new part-work title; drive online subscriptions; and increase traffic to their website. Sky Media responded with a high-frequency, cost-effective, month-long channel sponsorship of primetime programming on Military History. Running from December 2008 to January 2009, the primetime strand ran from 17:00 to 23:00 and included a wide range of programming, including Military History’s tank-specific shows such as Challenge Tank, Sherman Assault and M1 Abraham’s Supertank – clearly the ideal environment in which to promote such a niche product.
The sponsorship creative was produced by Military History’s inhouse team. The execution was comprised of 15-second branded opening and closing credits and 5-second ‘break bumpers’ featuring footage of various tank models which were available through the part-work title. The creative included the website address, directing viewers to the Combat Tank competition micro site, where viewers could subscribe to the publication and had the chance of winning the opportunity to drive a real Sherman Assault tank. To view the campaign creative visit skymedia.co.uk/militaryhistorytanks. Creating additional value for the campaign, History hosted branded banners and skyscrapers on their website homepage, which served to further drive awareness and direct traffic to the site. The sponsorship also featured in the channel’s monthly consumer newsletter, which is distributed to 78,000 Military History enthusiasts.
De Agostini were delighted with both the quality of the creative and the results of the sponsorship. Subscription targets were surpassed and the campaign raised the profile of the De Agostini brand among their target audience.
The TV campaign attracted a loyal audience who were more likely to visit the website as a result of seeing the on-air sponsorship creative. The online elements were a small part of the campaign, yet nearly 20% of those that signed up for the publication came directly from the Military History website. This, in itself, covered the media cost of the entire campaign. These users were also 80% more likely to return to the site than subscribers from other sources.
De Agostini also received praise from the internet community for their association with the Military History Channel, commenting that the credibility of the publication has been enhanced as a result. De Agostini were so impressed with the results that they decided to use the Military History Channel to launch their latest part-works title, this time focusing on historical ships.
“We will definitely be using this type of campaign in the future.” James Franks, Marketing Director, De Agostini
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