What was Duck Dynasty doing presenting at a sports media marketing summit? Thanking sports marketers, basically. Here’s what Guy Slattery, evp of marketing for A&E, said the network learned from the industry and how it applied those lessons to achieve what, by anyone’s standards, is a raging social success.
 
1. Design a Good Uniform. The duck hunters’ uniform is, of course, military-themed. The network created custom duck camo, “just like a sports franchise,” said Slattery at Tuesday’s PromaxBDA Sports Media Marketing Summit in NYC.
 
2. Reward the Fans. A&E even gave them a name, the Duck Nation, as well as “tools to express their love for the show,” such as memes, naming a fan of the week, reaching out to celebrity fans (like New York Yankee Joba Chamberlain) and reading fans’ tweets in promos.
 
3. Have a Social Star Player. It turns out that the show’s star social player doesn’t even have a social media account. But no matter. It’s Uncle Si, and whatever he says, trends. It’s such a sure thing that the network can buy around the words they know will trend on Twitter when an episode airs.
 
4. Event-ize It. Sports marketers know how to promote any event under the sun, Slattery said, “no matter how crappy the match up is.” The network counted down 21 days before a season premiere, with 21 individual promos—including 21 hashtags.
 
5. Nothing Beats Live. Though the show is taped, A&E tries to do live interactions with fans as much as possible. During the show fans are encouraged to tweet when a “Si Says” placard appears. The net can buy around the words in that case as well. Additionally, the show has media buyers on hand live surrounding the event, creating custom content on the spot.  

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