Blue Ant launches Cottage Life TV, buys burgers to celebrate
August 28, 2013 | Jeff Fraser | Comments
To promote Cottage Life TV‘s Sept. 4 launch, owner Blue Ant Media is undertaking a national marketing campaign with print, broadcast, digital and social media, and a partnership with an iconic burger joint in Ontario’s cottage country.
“The broadest idea for the campaign is that people like the weekends, and we’re a channel that celebrates weekend living,” says Jamie Schouela, executive vice-president, marketing and communications at Blue Ant. “It celebrates people’s getaway places, whether that’s a cottage here in Ontario, a cabin out in B.C. or a country house in Montreal.”
The campaign creative and PR were handled in-house with media-buying by Gaggi Media. The channel and its new shows will be cross-promoted on Blue Ant’s broadcast properties, such as Travel + Escape, Bite, AUX and Oasis HD, as well as through Blue Ant’s distribution partners.
However, to promote the channel directly to cottagers, on Sept. 6 the brand will buy a burger for the first 5,000 people to visit Webers Hamburgers, a family restaurant in Ontario’s Muskoka cottage country. “In the [Greater Toronto Area] and Southern Ontario, there’s no more of a rite of passage than going up to Weber’s on the way up to the cottage,” said Schouela. “It’s a fun layer in the campaign to get people talking about the channel.”
Cottage Life TV’s fall lineup, released earlier this week, features seven original shows, like Epic, about extravagant cottage amenities and the craftspeople behind them, and The Fabulous Beekman Boys, where former Amazing Race winners Josh Kilmer-Purcell and Brent Ridge leave New York and learn to become farmers. Schouela said he’s excited for a cottage-themed cookoff challenge called Compete to Eat.
Cottage Life’s Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest accounts will be talking up its new shows throughout the month, though Schouela said there won’t be social media accounts for individual shows because Blue Ant wants to keep brand awareness consolidated.
Blue Ant bought Cottage Life Media, which publishes Cottage Life, Cottage, Outdoor Canada, and Canadian Home Workshop, last December. Cottage Life previously produced a TV show on Travel + Escape and has been looking to expand its broadcast presence.
The new channel will replace Bold on the dial, a specialty channel that CBC sold to Blue Ant last year.
Blue Ant’s innovative strategy and gutsy acquisitions earned it recognition as Marketing‘s Media Player of the Year for 2012.
The channel is providing a 2-month free preview period broadcast into 9.2 million Canadian homes