Jun 9, 2009
There's nothing subtle about the CW's new "TV To Talk About" promotional campaign.
The network has started seeding the YouTube with its fall promo teasers-- and, predictably, there are a lot of shots of "Gossip Girl" characters vamping about in the minute-long clip I found. But there's also a techno theme song behind the images: A Lady Gaga wannabee who wails "TV to t-t-talk, t-t-talk about" every few seconds.
While the spot looks very current, the practice of having someone sing your theme song is pretty retro-- and one networks have largely abandoned in recent years.
In the 1970s and 80s, one of the highlights of summer for me was catching those three- and four-minute extended promos the networks would air during summer reruns. These were elaborate music videos, set to catchy ditties such as "We've Got the Touch, America" (CBS), "We Belong Together (And Together We Will Be)" (ABC) and "Be There" (NBC).
But when CBS began rolling out its new "Only CBS" campaign a few days ago, it used the very CW-friendly Black Eyed Peas as a soundtrack for its ads. And while ABC is pretty big on promoting its slogan "Start Here," the network has yet to recruit Alan Thicke to pen the lyrics to the "Start Here" song.
All of this is a long way of saying to the CW: Whaaa? Anyway, judge for yourself-- the video is below. Maybe the CW will be the network that back the network theme song.
And feel free to t-t-talk about the spot in the comments.
May 26, 2009
It's Emmy season in TV land, which means studios have begun rolling out trade ads to tout the virtues of their programs.
Of course, the Great Recession has prompted cuts in ad budgets across town. Thankfully, though, creativity hasn't disappeared.
Take, for instance, the classy new campaign from 20th Century Fox TV advancing "How I Met Your Mother" (see picture, above). Elegant and understated, it features cast members snazzily attired and holding yellow umbrellas. The rain gear is a reference to a plot point involving an umbrella's role in solving the show's title mystery.
We'll try to bring you other campaigns of distinction throughout the summer.
May 18, 2009
With most of the nation's TV reporters in full upfront mode, one of the funniest in-jokes in quite a while slipped by relatively unnoticed over the weekend.
It also doubled as a pretty darn ingenious promotion for "24."
About midway through Sunday night's episode of "Family Guy," an on-air "swipe" hyping Fox's "24" suddenly appeared at the bottom of the screen. Nothing unusual, right?
Right. Except in this instance, one of the characters on "Family Guy"-- Stewie Griffin-- took notice of the promo.
May 12, 2009
Just in time for upfront season, NBC Universal is gearing up its promotional machine to hype... NBC Universal.
The conglomerate turns five years old today, and to mark the anniversary, it's ordered all of its networks to air a 30-second spot touting the many tentacles of the NBC U organization. The ad will be roadblocked at 8 p.m. ET/PT this evening, which means it will air simultaneously on all the various NBC U networks, from NBC to USA to Mun 2, as well as the company's Times Square billboard, both of its theme parks—and even in New York City taxicabs.
NBC U said today that the ad marks the beginning of a year-long effort to celebrate the virtues of its merger with Vivendi Universal. Check out the spot, plus a special birthday message from Jeff Zucker, after the jump. We've even included bonus video of NBC Universal Chief Marketing Officer John Miller for all of you marketing geeks out there.
May 11, 2009
Fox is betting advertisers will be in a "Glee"-ful mood following the network's upfront presentation next Monday.
The network's marketing team has arranged for cast members from the show, along with a team of cheerleaders dubbed the "Cheerios," to stage a live perfomance on the streets of Manhattan at 5 p.m. May 18. That's immediately after Fox's formal presentation wraps.
The "Cheerios" will strut their stuff just outside City Center Theater, where Fox's upfront will be held. A dozen members of the "Glee" cast are slated to participate in the event, which will feature stunts and gymnastics in addition to singing.
In addition to pumping up advertisers, Fox is hoping the performance will help hype the Tuesday, May 19 sneak preview of "Glee." The network is using next week's broadcast as the beginning of its fall marketing campaign for the show.
Fox is no stranger to upfront showmanship. Last year, the network had live cows roaming the streets of New York on the day of its upfront, all to tout the launch of new drama "Fringe."
For anyone not yet familiar with "Glee," an extended trailer released last month by Fox is on the jump.
May 4, 2009
ABC’s carefully orchestrated campaign to build buzz around its new drama “Flash Forward” is moving to a new level this week.
Following last week’s 5-second teaser spots, the network will air a new ad during this week’s episode of “Lost,” according to people familiar with the network’s plans. Details are sketchy, but there’s expected to be a twist in which different viewers see different things.
That could mean ABC is planning to air different spots in different time zones. Or the network could get even more specific by tailoring ads to specific cities. NBC and Home Depot, for example, recently launched a campaign in which local stations inserted their own weather personalities into ads for the home improvement giant.
“Flash Forward” hasn’t officially been ordered to series, but given the resources ABC is devoting to marketing the show, the pickup is considered all but a given.
The network’s hype is having an impact. A Google search for “Flash Forward” news stories produces a bevy of hits, including this article from the U.K.’s Digital Spy that calls the series “the most promising proposition” of the new fall season.
Look for more "Flash Forward" spots in the season finales of shows such as "Dancing with the Stars" and "Grey's Anatomy."
Apr 29, 2009
ABC has launched its stealth marketing campaign for "Flash Forward."
The Hollywood Reporter last week broke the news that the network planned to begin hyping the drama project during tonight's episode of "Lost." This, even though ABC technically hasn't ordered the project to series.
Tonight's first spot, which our East Coast spies say just aired, featured a brief "flash" of an image, meant to evoke the moments of collective memory loss at the core of the show. The tagline: What did you see?
If you Google "What did you see," it looks as if ABC has arranged for mentions of a Web site called "TheMosaicCollective.com" to appear. Go to that Web site, and you'll be greeted with a stark message—"What did you see?"—and a request to answer that question. You'll also be asked to provide your email address.
After you give the information, the Web site shoots back the semi-creepy reply: "The Mosaic Collective is dedicated to connecting the world one experience at a time."
Insiders said it's likely more spots will air in the coming weeks. ABC declined comment on its campaign.