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CBS Cooks Up College Comedy Coffee Klatch

March 1, 2009 8:01 PM

College students love beer, coffee—and anything that’s free. CBS is hoping that two out of three of those will be enough to help hype its Monday comedies.

The network has contracted with independent marketing company BriteVision for a caffeinated campus campaign designed to use the lure of free java to sell “How I Met Your Mother” and “The Big Bang Theory.”

Taking advantage of its nationwide network of campus coffee cafes, BriteVision is giving students the chance to attend coffee “happy hours” tied to the CBS comedies. The cafes will be outfitted with balloons and banners touting the shows; coffee will be given away for at least an hour. CBS hopes the buzz students get from the coffee will help start some buzz for its comedies.

“It’s a viral campaign using coffee,” said CBS marketing chief George Schweitzer (Boston University ’72). “It’s interactive without being digital.”

Even those students who can’t make it for the free coffee will get some exposure to the CBS comedies. BriteVision is distributing thousands of coffee cozies and in-store displays emblazoned with characters from “HIMYM” and “Big Bang.” “Don’t touch anything hot without protection,” reads one cozy featuring “HIMYM’s” Neil Patrick Harris.

“These are franchise comedies for us and the characters in them are very close to college age,” Mr. Schweitzer said. “And as successful as they already are with younger viewers, we think there’s still an opportunity to grow.”

—Josef Adalian


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