MBPT Spotlight: JBL Launches Fourth-Quarter Partnership With Discovery Networks

Audio electronics company JBL is kicking off a major partnership with Discovery’s family of networks this week that will run through the end of the year and will include specially-created on-air content as well as traditional TV commercials.

The created content will be sponsored by JBL and include 30- and 60-second vignettes featuring on-air talent from the various Discovery cable networks who will be shown in fun situations as they show viewers how they “live life to the fullest,” which is also a theme of the JBL brand.

The content spots will be sponsored by JBL and will air across all dayparts on Discovery’s portfolio of networks that include: Discovery Channel, TLC, Science Channel, Velocity, Destination America and Discovery Fit & Health. They will also be streamed across each network’s digital platform.

In each instance, the content spot will air, followed by a regular JBL commercial, with the goal being to give the brand maximum impact. Discovery also is going to coordinate the content spots so they run within shows featuring the talent in each.

The created content will not include any JBL products integrated into those spots, but JBL will sponsor them. Among the talent and shows featured: cast members from Discovery Channel’s Gold Rush series and Shark Week programming; TLC’s Say Yes to the Dress; Hakeem Oluseyi of Science Channel’s Outrageous Acts of Science; Mike Brewer of Velocity’s Wheeler Dealers; and the cast of Destination America’s Barbecue Pitmasters.

Discovery is JBL’s first media partner. Its other brand deal is with the NBA under a multiyear marketing and merchandising partnership it announced in September that made the company the official headphone, speaker and audio partner of the NBA.

JBL’s media agency, GroupM’s MEC, initiated conversations with Discovery during the summer, according to Jocelyn Egan, Discovery Communications’ senior VP, Ad Sales Solutions. Egan says a group of MEC media planners and buyers briefed a Discovery team about the JBL brand and what it was looking to accomplish with a partnership, in addition to traditional 30-second spots.

“We came up with the idea of doing content that could run across all of our networks,” Egan says, “which would give them broad exposure and highlight our networks.”

While millennials make up a key component of the JBL target audience, Egan says the goal is more psychographic than demographic. “They aren’t looking to reach a specific demographic but are targeting a mindset and approach to life. They want to reach consumers who want to dial up their lives and live it to the fullest. And that’s what the content pieces highlight.”

Egan says the spots were made easier because Discovery owns the content from its programming so there was no need to get clearance from various production studios.

Discovery’s Ad Sales Solutions marketing team, along with the marketing teams from the respective networks, collaborated with MEC, JBL’s creative agency Doner and JBL execs to develop the custom content spots.

This is not the first time Discovery has created custom content for advertisers, but Egan said it is the first time that the content was created so it can run across all the Discovery networks and platforms during the same campaign for one advertiser.