Sony, CBS, Circuit City rally support for troops

Nov 19, 2001  •  Post A Comment

As Americans head home for Thanksgiving, a coalition of marketers, media companies and the U.S. government will initiate a program of support for American military personnel who will be missing from holiday tables.
An ad campaign aimed at sending messages to the troops overseas kicks off this week, backed by Circuit City Stores, Sony Corp. of America’s Sony Electronics, Viacom’s CBS and the U.S. Department of Defense.
The “Message From America” campaign encourages people who want to send holiday greetings to soldiers on active duty to visit Circuit City stores to videotape 30-second messages. The messages will be taped using Sony camcorders, burned onto DVDs by Circuit City employees and then sent overseas by the Department of Defense. Some of those messages will be edited into vignettes by CBS, then aired as public service announcements hosted by CBS sports and entertainment personalities. The PSAs will air on CBS and other Viacom properties, including MTV, BET and UPN.
The campaign is expected to receive commercial airtime worth an estimated $5 million to $10 million through Dec. 31. Viacom is allocating public-service time to air the PSAs so the actual media buy-paid for by coalition members-will be less.
CBS will promote the effort on its NFL Thanksgiving game broadcast. A compilation of edited greetings begin airing during the CBS military show “JAG” the week of Nov. 26.
Advertising Age’s Wayne Friedman contributed to this report.