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National Geographic Channel targets tablet users to drive co-viewing

The National Geographic Channel is leveraging tablets to drive TV viewership for a new documentary about President Lincoln.

With tablets having become an important part of the TV-watching experience for many consumers, the campaign targets home Wi-Fi networks and is only running on tablets. The goal is to reach consumers who are at home and to entice them to watch the program.

?Many consumers are using tablets during downtime, when they are in a mindset to explore and look for content they enjoy,? said Laurel Boyd, vice president and digital media director at mediahub/Mullen, Boston.

?Because there is so much depth and historical background to this program, the tablet was a perfect environment for showcasing rich and visually appealing content when people are in the mindset to engage," she said.

The campaign was developed in partnership with National Geographic Channel?s agency mediahub/Mullen and Millennial Media.

Dynamic content
The campaign was designed to drive tune-in to a new documentary from the National Geographic Channel called ?Killing Lincoln? and to promote the co-viewing experience. The program debuted on Feb. 17, and chronicles the final days of President Lincoln and the plot to assassinate him.

The campaign creative premiered midday on Feb. 17 and began to dynamically update once the program began airing.

?The tablet ads will be targeted to at-home Wi-Fi users and will start a few hours leading up to the world premiere and will continue during the two hours it airs,? Ms. Boyd said.

?At pivotal moments in the program, the creative will dynamically update based on what is happening on-air to encourage tune-in to the next scene,? she said. ?Video and description copy will update to provide a light experience to tease the current scene.?

By targeting home Wi-Fi networks and tablets, the National Geographic Channel hopes to reach consumers who are most likely to be near a TV as well as the growing number of consumers who are using tablets to complement their TV watching experience.

Taking action
The ad creative features an option to view a full-screen video highlight from the show.

When the documentary is airing, the video and accompanying text in the ad will dynamically update to reflect what is going on in the program.

The changing content will correspond to the National Geographic Channel desktop site, which will also be updating in real-time.

?With rising co-viewing trends and mobile usage peaking during primetime, mobile will continue to play a significant role in the TV landscape because it allows for an enhanced viewing experience for consumers and it provides an easy way to take an immediate action while they are in front of the television, whether it is finding out more about a program or tweeting and sharing TV content to their social networks,? Ms. Boyd said.

Final Take
Chantal Tode is associate editor on Mobile Marketer, New York