Smash Airs History Channel Ads

Smash Advertising has crafted TV spots that promote one of the most popular series on The History Channel.

Smash makes an effort to portray This Week in History, which debuted last year, as one of the network’s “signature” programs, said Marilyn Kass, senior vice president and managing director of the Boston agency.

In one execution, as news footage and newspaper front pages flash on the screen, a voiceover says, “You know what happened. Or do you? Beyond every headline, live the stories you’ve never heard.”

Another spot deals with the Three Mile Island nuclear plant accident; the voiceover says: “Twenty-two years ago this week, America woke up to a nightmare—Three Mile Island. Do you know what it was like while we braced for a nuclear meltdown? You will.”

“Our strategy was to convey a sense of storytelling,” said Linda Button, senior vice president/creative director at the 12-person agency.

“The History Channel’s goal is to show people that it’s not the history from school,” she said [The show tells about] the events and people behind the headlines—it’s about bringing [history] alive and making it feel fresh and relevant.”

The 30-second spots are running on cable networks, including The History Channel and its sister channel A&E. Ads are aimed at males aged 25-54 and carry the tag, “Where the past comes alive,” which The History Channel has been using since its launch in 1995.

Smash has done projects for The History Channel since its inception. Most re-cently, the agency launched a large-scale millennium campaign that included TV, radio and print work. That campaign carried the tag, “The official network of every millennium.” The agency expects to break a separate image campaign within the next two months, which will include broadcast executions.

At the start of the year, Smash became one of the first noteworthy victims of the softening economy and was forced to cut nearly 60 percent of its staff.