Content Marketing On Discovery Channel

On Thursday, December 4th, my family and I were flipping through the channels and we came across a show on Discovery Channel called Surviving Exodus.

We began watching the show and were quickly drawn in.

It was hosted by Breaking Bad star Aaron Paul and it explained the plagues sent by God in the Bible.

The hour-long program featured different hosts from other of the company’s networks: Dave Salmoni, Terry Schappert, and Hakeem Oluseyi.

They showed what it would be like to experience each of the plagues: the Nile turning blood red, plagues of flies, frogs and locusts, furious storms and even the seas parting.

Dave Salmoni

Here is a picture that Dave Salmoni tweeted of himself testing the plagues of frogs.

More Than A TV Show

It was pretty cool. My family really enjoyed watching them test out each plagues. But it was obvious from the beginning that this wasn’t just meant to be a TV show. It was content that was designed to promote the movie Exodus: Gods and Kings.

You can check out the preview of the show and see how tied together the two were…

Surviving Exodus – Music Showreel from romain paillot on Vimeo.

I later discovered more of the backstory of the show on…

“Viewers will not be expressly told the show was created by Discovery for purposes of drawing attention to the Fox film, said Scott Felenstein, executive vice president for ad sales at Discovery Communications, and that is by design. Rather than jamming a commercial message into dialogue or placing a product on a show’s set, he said, “Advertisers want to be a part of creating content. They want to be able to distribute that content in other platforms and they want to be immersed in producing the content. Ultimately, you just want to produce content that viewers are going to like, and if you can get your message across in a subtle way, that’s a lot better than putting it where it doesn’t belong.’

There are two things I don’t want you to miss in this quote:

1. It was created by design to promote the film.

2. Felenstein revealed something important when he said that ultimately your message is much more powerful when it is woven into content like this, instead of awkwardly trying to place an out-of-context product in a movie.

Two Content Marketing Lessons

This reminds me of two content marketing hacks that I reveal in my book 51 Content Marketing Hacks.

In my book, I talk about two important content marketing hacks that can teach us some important lessons that we can take away from Discovery’s Surviving Exodus.

Content Marketing Hack #28

Average content marketers create one content stream (such as a blog) and then they wonder why they don’t see much momentum. Top content marketers create multiple streams of content that play off each other, promote each other, and have a compound effect.”

LESSON: If you want your content marketing to have the maximum impact, then you’ve got to get creative and think of as many ways as possible that you can have content that promotes you, your business, or organization. One stream will only give you a small amount of response. But multiple streams will give you a flood of response.

Content Marketing Hack #38

It’s a mistake to focus all of your effort on creating your own content. Make sure that you do things to encourage others to create content about your business, product, or service.

LESSON: The producers of Exodus: Gods and Kings didn’t try to create their own TV show. They approached Discovery Channel. This allowed them to get the word out about the movie without the burden of having to create the show themselves. You need to do the same.

You might not be able to get a TV network to create a show based on you, your business, your product or service, but there are other ways you can get them to create content.

For most businesses, this type of content usually takes the form of reviews, interviews, and articles about you or your products or services. (This is slightly different from Hack #24 where you are having people create content using your product or service.)

Let me leave you with this thought.

Successful people don’t hear an idea and say, “I can’t do this.” Instead they say, “How can I apply this?’

I’d encourage you to think about this example and these lessons and see how you can apply them.

Sources:,, and