SuperCroc was the National Geographic Channel’s global television event premiering in December 2001, and part of a global National Geographic Society-wide initiative integrating National Geographic research and expeditions, magazines, channels, books, online and DVDs.
The National Geographic Channel’s SuperCroc campaign integrates the global two-hour television premiere SuperCroc and associated 13-part series Croc Chronicles; exhibits highlighting the life-size replica of SuperCroc – the 110-million year old crocodile; educational initiatives; online activities and premiums.
The mammoth SuperCroc life-size recreation is based on one of the biggest finds in the career of paleontologist and National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence Dr. Paul Sereno. The discovery was announced in October 2001. SuperCroc (Sarcosuchus imperator) roamed the earth some 110 million years ago, reaching the length of a city bus. The croc is believed to have reached up to 12 meters in length and weighed in at over 9,000 kilograms.
Throughout the SuperCroc campaign, National Geographic Channel aimed to increase brand awareness, motivate tune-in to its SuperCroc and Crocodile Chronicles programming, promote the groundbreaking work of its explorers, and get closer to its audiences. The Channel also wanted to inject a sense of fun, humor and community spirit into the SuperCroc campaign.
National Geographic Channel Asia also aimed to sign on a key sponsor to be associated with and to support the SuperCroc campaign. Ideally, the sponsor would be a world leader in express transportation to be able to help move the SuperCroc life-size replica from city to city throughout Asia Pacific, making the SuperCroc exhibits really come to life. The sponsor would preferably also share synergies with the Channel in terms of heritage, dependability, and dedication.
There was really only one choice – FedEx. The world’s largest express transportation company agreed to be an associate sponsor of the National Geographic Channel’s SuperCroc campaign. For FedEx, the sponsorship provided the company with the opportunity to demonstrate its superior worldwide capabilities.
Following the scientific announcement in October 25, 2001, of the finding of SuperCroc by Dr. Paul Sereno National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence, electronic press kits were distributed across Asia, subsequently getting coverage in terrestrial TV stations in the region.
To promote the SuperCroc and associated 13-part Croc Chronicles programs, on-air promotion program spots with FedEx tags well as FedEx ads are being placed on heavy rotation in a span of 17 weeks on the National Geographic Channel’s regional and Australasia feeds reaching over 16 million 24-hour homes. Programme spots have also been running on the Star network of channels including ESPN, Star Sports, and Star World.
Full page SuperCroc or Croc Chronicles tune-in advertisements with FedEx association logo were or are being placed in National Geographic magazine’s Thailand, Korea and Taiwan local editions, as well as on cable guides in Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Australia. All National Geographic global English-language editions incorporated a SuperCroc premiere tune-in to National Geographic Channel on the cover. In Australia, high impact advertisements with FedEx co-branding were placed on buses travelling in heavy traffic areas.
Co-branding of National Geographic Channel and FedEx is extended throughout all SuperCroc – related promotions, including collateral and merchandise, online, as well as on-ground (including exhibits, press unveilings, and educational initiatives) across Asia Pacific in the span of five months between November 2001 to March 2002.
Extensive on-ground activities including the SuperCroc exhibits, community relations and school programs were planned and implemented in Australia, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia and Taiwan specifically.
FedEx made the SuperCroc exhibits possible, by ensuring the special delivery of the giant 11-meter long, 1.5-meter wide and 1 to 1.8-meter high SuperCroc replica from Denver, Colorado, USA to its first exhibit stop Sydney, Australia, in November, and to Hong Kong in December 2001. Following Hong Kong, SuperCroc will visit Singapore, Kuala Lumpur and Taipei, respectively, between January to March 2002.
The SuperCroc exhibits featuring the life-size replica were opened in Sydney and Hong Kong by Dr. Paul Sereno. Press unveilings and interviews were organized, attracting extensive media interest and coverage amongst local press as well as international news services like Reuters and AP.
As part of its outreach to the local community, FedEx in cooperation with the National Geographic Channel are distributing SuperCroc educational packs to primary schools in Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia and Taiwan. In Hong Kong, packs were delivered by FedEx to 800 primary schools. The SuperCroc packs consisted of FedEx co-branded “World of the Crocodilian” maps (produced and licensed by National Geographic Maps), school field trip information, and FedEx’s “SuperCroc Lives to Deliver” Art Contest entry forms. All this information can also be found online on www.fedexsupercroc.com, a special site specially developed by FedEx as part of the sponsorship. This site is linked to the National Geographic Channel’s extensive and interactive SuperCroc microsite found on www.ngcasia.com/supercroc.
The SuperCroc campaign also incorporates promoters in Croc-suits carrying FedEx delivery bags who have been spotted roaring around the SuperCroc exhibiting markets. The promotions also extend to include SuperCroc premiums specially delivered to National Geographic Channel corporate clients, the media, as well as FedEx’s customers and staff.
To help families and children to learn more about the prehistoric SuperCroc, the SuperCroc exhibits feature informative panels, TV screens featuring the programs and co-branding, and PCs showcasing the Channel’s and FedEx’s SuperCroc microsites. Weekend activities being organized include fun and games, Croc face painting, and co-branded giveaways like Croc cut-out caps and Croc stickers for families and children.