Animal Planet US to start community outreach campaign next year

MUMBAI: In a bid to reinforce its commitment to celebrating the special bond between humans and animals, Animal Planet in the US is partnering with affiliates nationwide to encourage people to take action in their communities with the Be A Hero campaign.

The campaign which runs from January - March 2006 features three complementary components designed to work independently or collectively as a fully integrated system-wide promotion. The aim is to drive revenue while simultaneously providing residents with the tools needed to play an active role in the welfare of animals in their hometown.

Discovery US senior VP distribution and marketing strategy Lori McFarling says, "As the only television network dedicated to the connection between humans and animals, Animal Planet continues to provide our affiliate partners with unique platforms to engage their communities through a variety of worthwhile causes. We are thrilled to offer local residents a real-life way to 'be a hero' in their communities, while helping our affiliate partners achieve their ever-challenging business goals."

For those markets with local ad sales participation, the campaign provides tools designed to position local sponsors as catalysts for area residents to "be a hero" and act locally through contributions to their community animal welfare organisations. The Be A Hero campaign directs consumers to local sponsors through on-air retail traffic driving spots and is also supported by customised in-store signage and point of purchase displays.

To further drive retail traffic and patronage, for every purchase (or test drive) made at a local sponsor, Animal Planet will make a donation to a local animal welfare organisation on behalf of its affiliate partner and local area sponsors. Automotive-specific materials are also offered with this program to further capitalize on this profitable ad sales category. Finally, consumers will also receive a gift from the local affiliates for participating in the campaign.

The campaign also features an electronic Animal Planet Healthy Pet Guide, a special pet care and first aid brochure, available in both English and Spanish, designed exclusively for affiliates to offer free to their subscribers. The brochure provides valuable pet health care information and safety tips, ranging from how to look after the long-term health of a pet to administering first aid to a pet in an emergency. In addition, the web site features video, games and a local area pet finder. A simple online tool kit links the affiliates web site to a "Be A Hero" micro site, promoting to consumers the myriad of benefits of high-speed Internet service.

To build consumer awareness about the unique opportunity, on-air sales-building spots will run throughout the promotion to encourage consumers to purchase high-speed Internet service that makes navigating and downloading quick and easy.

The channel adds that the campaign is an extension of its on-air Heroes programming strip. This follows the drama, heroism and heart of investigators who fight animal cruelty and neglect.

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