A&E Celebrates ‘Biography’ With Community-Driven Tour
Cable channel A&E chose to celebrate its 15th birthday last spring with the network’s first-ever mobile tour. The Biography 15 Years Celebration Tour broke in Los Angeles and blew through 10 markets before wrapping in June in the Big Apple.
Objectives? Create excitement for the brand, demonstrate the breadth of the Biography product portfolio, strengthen relationships with affiliates and drive tune-in. The 1,375-sq.-ft. exhibit had several primary elements. The largest was the truck (target venues were busy metro spots and shopping centers), which allowed visitors to tape a short Biography episode of their own in a mock studio, pose for a faux cover of Biography magazine or explore their family tree via genealogy kiosks. There were also “Who Am I” game shows in which consumers guessed celebrity identities.
But A&E went way beyond the truck, diving into the communities it toured with exhibits of local “heros” from each market (set up via partnerships with local municipal offices). The heros were honored at an opening ceremony and press conference that kicked off each event attended by local politicians and celebrities—in New York, for example, Mayor Bloomberg proclaimed “A&E Biography Day.” Affiliates co-hosted the opening ceremonies, and in exchange each ran 700 cross-promotion spots for the tour and the show.
The program tied in organically with local communities, made an impact with the audience and generated buzz. Nearly 1.5 million consumers experienced the campaign, with 175,000 actively participating with the tour. Media hits in each market beat expectations, affiliates in each city got on board and Nielsen reported an average ratings jump in the 10 markets of 57 percent for Biography.