Discover Boating Gets Advertising Facelift in 2007

This month marks the return of the Discover Boating national advertising campaign to television, print and online outlets throughout the country. Beginning in March, our $9 million advertising/marketing/PR efforts ($8 million advertising, $1 million PR) to promote the benefits of boating and the boating lifestyle heat up for the second consecutive year, only this time with a slightly different creative look and execution strategy.
In 2007, Discover Boating will debut a brand new television spot and series of print ads from the quintessential first mate’s point of view. Of course I’m referring to man’s best friend, the dog. The new advertisements feature several different breeds aboard many different types of boats, complete with the tagline, “Dogs need weekends, too.”
Instead of treating consumers as passive observers—as was the case with last year’s print executions—the new television and print ads changed perspective. This year’s advertisements are designed to provide a first-hand account of what it’s like onboard a boat, creating the sense a viewer/reader is actively engaged in the activity. Of the three commercials we’ve filmed and tested thus far, “Dogs” scored the highest approval rating with dog owners and non-owners alike, and we anticipate it will be a real home run with consumers.
But it’s important to remember the Discover Boating campaign isn’t just about advertising; it’s about taking an integrated marketing approach. Along with advertisements, there are several other Discover Boating components being included this year. One of the biggest changes is the addition of viral marketing. As a result of a generous contribution from General Motors, we have created, filmed and will distribute a three-and-a-half-minute short film highlighting the life of a boater as he reflects on experiences aboard a boat from childhood through his senior years. The film will be placed on, several boating Web sites and sent out via e-mail. GM agreed to underwrite production costs associated with this piece because they felt the idea was compelling and knew funds to support its creation weren’t built into the Discover Boating budget. They graciously stepped up to the plate and helped us bring the project to fruition. Our interactive marketing efforts and Web site,, will also play a major role in our plans this year.
We know based on research conducted during the first six months of the Discover Boating campaign in 2006 that our plan is flat-out working (see “A Different Tack,” page 10). People exposed to these positive boating messages are already buying boats. Our challenge in 2007 is to scale up our efforts; to get more people interested boating and keep them interested. And with the fine-tuning we’ve done to the campaign’s creative look and execution strategy this year, we’re anticipating an increase in boating prospects.

— By Carl Blackwell, vice president of Marketing & Communications for the National Marine Manufacturers Association.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button