As Seen On TV: DC launches TV ad campaign.

Having advertised in most major action-sports magazines, DC Shoe Co. is taking its marketing campaign to the next medium: television. This spring, DC began running a series of four commercials on MTV, ESPN, and espn2.

The 30-second spots individually highlight four DC teamriders — Josh Kalis, Stevie Williams, Rob Dyrdeck, and Danny Way — in their own style. The ad for Philly-raised Williams, for example, has an urban feel to it. The spots also feature new DC product, such as the Aerotech shoe that vert-rider Way endorses in his commercial.

[IMAGE 2]DC President Ken Block says the goal of the ad campaign is to bring brand awareness to a fresh batch of customers: “We want to reach a new consumer who’s interested in the lifestyle, but someone we would have not reached through the ‘core magazines we currently advertise in,” he says.

To zero in on those customers, DC sought specific time slots for shows that appealed to that demographic — programs like MTV’s hit The Osbournes and ESPN’s X-Games and Action Sports And Music Awards. “We targeted programs we thought were important to our demographic,” Block says. “We thought that those are the shows these kids would be watching.”

Of course, DC knew that skateboarders and surfers would also be watching with a critical eye, so there was added pressure to make the spots cool and relevant to the sport. DC enlisted its own in-house team to develop the creative side of the commercials and then commissioned an outside company to handle production. “They’re made to entertain not only skateboarders, but the mainstream audience as well,” says Block. “And we wanted to do them in a way that represents our industry.”

No doubt the commercials are costly, but Block says the money the company is using to fund the ads will not come at the expense of other marketing resources such as teamriders, promotions, tours, and print advertising. It’s merely a bonus.

[IMAGE 1]Some wonder whether the mainstream television ads signal a new distribution strategy for DC, but Block maintains the goal of the commercials is to bring more business to the brand’s established set of dealers. “We’re on a slow growth curve as far as expansion goes,” Block says. “We want to drive more business to our existing accounts.”