Spike Kicks Off ‘Ultimate Fighter’ With FHM Insert

Spike TV brought the action of the ring to consumers with a three-dimensional insert in the September issue of FHM magazine to draw in viewers to “The Ultimate Fighter 4: The Comeback,” which premiered Aug. 17.

This is the first time the action-oriented cable network has used insert media for outreach. Previous partnerships with men’s entertainment publication FHM were in the form of display ads and live events. The two media outlets target men ages 18-35. FHM’s base circulation rate is 1.25 million subscribers.

“There’s no ethnographics involved,” said Todd Ames, senior director of marketing at Spike TV, Los Angeles. “Spike TV is for young men who are passionate about action and are looking for programming that packs a punch.”

The black bind-in insert asks, “How do you get your kicks?” in bold white letters and opens to reveal a stand-up spinning fighter delivering a roundhouse kick to the face of his opponent while positioned on an elevated octagon featuring the show title and sponsors’ logos.

“The goal is cutting through the clutter and making sure that the ad is noticed,” said Tim Clegg, CEO of Americhip, Torrance, CA. “The No. 1 thing is getting attention.”

Americhip is the print production company that created the insert for Spike TV .

Mr. Clegg said that unique three-dimensional inserts encouraged FHM  readers to tear them out and pass them along, increasing the exposure of an ad. Getting consumers to interact with the ad is another benefit.

“With most magazine ads there’s no recall,” he said. “Why not have a piece that I know has been seen, heard and talked about?”

Mr. Ames said that “the interest is already there” for the next installment of Spike TV’s “Ultimate Fighter” series due to the popularity of the past three seasons.

The three-dimensional insert along with traditional elements such as network cable spots and ads on radio aimed to inform viewers about the show’s 10 p.m. EST Thursday air dates. The Americhip effort also sought to generate excitement for a new season.

Ultimately, the show’s ratings will determine the insert’s success.

“[The insert is] giving a little taste of the experience that you’ll have when you watch the show,” Mr. Ames said. “It’s a great way to bring Spike TV’s tagline, ‘Get More Action,’ to the print medium.”

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