The History Channel is taking to the wilds of New York City to promote its new eight-part series from Mark Burnett Productions, Expedition Africa: Stanley and Livingstone, premiering Sunday, May 31. Beginning Tuesday (May 19) and running through the rest of the month, Expedition will be promoted on some of the largest 3D video screens installed street level at two storefront locations in Manhattan.
To give passersby a taste of an African safari, a fully animated 3D video complete with lurching crocodiles and explorers trudging through mud become almost real at two locations. The first, at 5th and 43rd street (the old Circuit City storefront) takes advantage of seven windows of display area, each over 25 feet tall. In SoHo, the display on the storefront is 50-feet wide by 30-feet tall.
"You feel like you're in Africa. Not only is this eye-catching because of its enormous size, it also provides a one to one personal experience, so it operates on multiple levels," said Chris Moseley, senior vp of marketing for The History Channel.
This isn't the first time The History Channel has turned to outdoor media to market its programming, but the Expedition advertising, created by BPG and placed by Horizon Media working with Pearl Media, stands apart as the cable network's most surprising and unexpected outdoor campaign.
"We're upping the ante on video by using 3D and upping flat art to lenticular [an image that changes or moves depending on the angle viewed], making this a first to market," Moseley said. "Surprising consumers is a key attribute we're trying to build as part of our new DNA."
The outdoor campaign will also be measured using Pearl Media's Audience Analysis system, which uses scanner cameras to capture audience data and gauge pedestrian reaction. According to Josh Cohen, president of Pearl Media, the Expedition campaign, which got its final touches Monday, had already attracted the attention of 40,000 consumers.
In addition to outdoor, The History Channel has also taken out cinema advertising and created an online viral campaign to promote Expedition.