In Depth

Marketing Syndie's 'Office'

NBCU Already Touting Fall Debut

Affiliates airing NBC Universal's "The Office" are rolling out the show's syndication advertising campaign, ahead of the customary July pushes.

NBC, without a new first-run program to advertise this year, is focusing its promotional energy on "The Office," which is entering broadcast syndication in September.

Under the banner "The Office is Branching Out," NBC Universal is planning a multi-phase approach to get viewers up to speed about "Office" in broadcast syndication, Donna Mills, NBC Universal vice president of marketing and affiliate relations, said.

The first phase contains mostly clip-driven spots from the show that are currently airing in some markets, Ms. Mills said.

"The Office" promos launched early in part because Fox affiliates airing "The Office" wanted a spot to air during the finale of "American Idol" on May 20.

Stations are also receiving custom promos from NBC Universal, with cast members discussing specific markets. The promo package includes call-letter jingles and behind-the-scenes clips.

Subsequent phases of the advertising push include character-specific spots and highlighting the fact that "The Office" in syndication allows viewers to enjoy episodes from the beginning of the series, Ms. Mills said.

Stations will also have access in August to a video content-management system developed by DG Entertainment that will allow affiliates to search clips of the show by keyword, giving them the ability to cut station-specific promos.

For instance, stations can search for every instance the word "five" is said on "The Office" and use those clips to create a custom promo highlighting that "The Office" is airing five times a week.

Ms. Mills said a Tampa station that is airing "The Office," the independent WMOR-TV, started its promo push in March. The station has already requested talent to appear at a Tampa Bay Rays baseball game, and is pitching contest ideas to NBC Universal.

"That just shows the excitement around this show, and how exciting stations are to have it, and how excited we are to push it," she said.

Filed under: NBC Universal, The Office