Cox Communications Inc. and Discovery Channel are helping
to give kids their first on-camera exposure through the second annual Discovery Kids on
Camera joint promotion.
In addition to generating exposure for the network and
creating good will for the local cable system, the campaign, exclusive to Cox, was also
designed to promote local ad sales. Cox is a part-owner of Discovery parent Discovery
In 19 Cox markets, children ages 6 through 12 will have the
chance to audition to appear on local and national commercial breaks surrounding Discovery
"In smaller markets like Roanoke [Va.] and Omaha, this
represented a rare opportunity for local residents to get in front of the camera,"
Cox CableRep Advertising marketing director Debby Mullin said.
To participate, kids will be asked to describe their
ultimate adventure in front of the camera.
Before their auditions, kids and parents were sent to local
advertising clients to pick up a co-branded audition kit, including a script, auditioning
do's and don'ts, information on the Discovery Kids Channel, stickers and a game
card to bring to the audition.
Cross-channel spots and system Web site banner ads touted
After the auditions, some local systems posted photographs
of the children and the nearby crowds on the Cox@Home Web sites to generate traffic for
Two Cox systems, Orange County, Calif., and Omaha, held
events this fall. Another 17 plan to run promotions through February 2000. In Orange
County, Cox's advertising client was a local talent agency.
One finalist from each market will be chosen to appear
nationally on the Discovery Channel's Discovery Kids weekend block. Each of those
finalists will also win a trip for two to New York City to explore a television studio.
Finalists from last year's promotion went to Colorado for a dinosaur dig.
Mullin said last year's Discovery Kids on Camera
promotion generated more ad-sales revenue than any other first-year campaign by the MSO.
She predicted the MSO would see a 30-percent growth in revenue with this year's
Last year's sponsor clients included the United
Dairymen of Arizona, with its "Got Milk" promotion, and the U.S. Department of
Health, with an anti-smoking campaign.
The campaign also lets Cox promote new products and
services by setting up demonstration booths at the audition events. In Orange County, Cox
used the event to promote digital telephone, cable and high-speed Internet access.
While Cox and Discovery are not promising to make stars of
their young auditioners, it could happen.
Last year, for example, the producers of The Tonight
Show with Jay Leno were so taken with one finalist from the Roanoke contest, Carly
Whiting, that they flew her out to appear on the show.
The audition topic: favorite animal sounds.
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