Clairol, ‘Starting Over’ Join in Deal

Dec 8, 2003  •  Post A Comment

NBC Enterprises’ rookie daytime reality show “Starting Over” and Procter & Gamble’s Clairol Nice ‘n Easy have joined for a rare multimillion-dollar, seven-month marketing promotion.
The arrangement is atypical for TV syndication marketing. Most syndie deals are with proven off-network shows rather with than a new, unproven first-run series.
The Nice ‘n Easy syndication deal also differs from most marketing deals because of its long term. Most syndication deals are for two or three weeks during a sweeps period.
The promotion will run until some time in May.
As part of the deal, “Starting Over” will receive key marketing help from Clairol in the form of off-air media support. In particular, Clairol will buy print media over several months in more than two dozen national magazines. People, TV Guide, Glamour, Cosmopolitan and Good Housekeeping are some of the magazines in which the hair color product will be co-branded with the show. Other media will include an on-air TV promotion during the show; in-store signage, such as in Wal-Mart and other retailers; a dedicated Web site; an online media buy; and other consumer marketing efforts. Some online elements already are under way.
“The sponsorship is not just limited to the show. It will touch all our consumer touchpoints,” said Veronica Smiley, brand manager for Clairol’s Nice ‘n Easy. “Nice ‘n Easy’s philosophy of empowering real women to ultimately be the best they can be matches perfectly with the premise of `Starting Over.”’
“Starting Over” is set in a house in Chicago and follows women living under the same roof as they attempt to make changes in their lives.
The promotion will include weekly sweepstakes giveaways. In addition, five women will be chosen to receive a makeover. Segments featuring each of the five winners will air following an episode of the show in a one-week period next May. “To reach the consumer off-air is so valuable,” Mary Beth McAdaragh, VP of marketing for NBC Enterprises, said. “It’s very hard to find [new] viewers. This is about off-channel promotion, and I want to bombard people.”
As broadcast ratings shrink, it becomes harder to get new viewers by advertising only on television. The problem is compounded for syndication companies, which can use only their own shows to air promotional announcements. That’s why networks and program suppliers increasingly are looking to off-air advertising-radio, print, outdoor and Internet-through marketing partnerships with advertising clients.
Executives at both Clairol and NBC declined to disclose how much money Clairol is spending.
“It’s certainly one of the most comprehensive deals,” said David Brenner, president of Marathon Ventures, the media buying consultant that works with NBC and put together the deal. “It’s a lot of elements. They are dedicating a significant amount of resources.”
Mr. Brenner would say only that Clairol is making a long-term media buy in the show. One media executive estimated Clairol paid about $1 million to $3 million for the advertising time in the show, with the entire promotional value worth $5 million to $10 million.
“From my experience, this is one of the largest promotional program deals in syndication in years,” said Jarrod Moses, president of Grey Global Group’s Alliance, the entertainment marketing firm that represented Clairol in the deal.
Though product placement in TV has been in vogue recently as a marketing tool, Mr. Moses said it is not a major part of this deal. He said it would be left to the producers to decide whether to show or use Clairol products.
“Starting Over” had a relatively poor start this season-initially achieving a 0.8 Nielsen Media Research rating. But for the week of Nov. 11, it climbed to a 1.1. More important, its ratings among young female viewers are strong and competitive with other new daytime syndication shows, according to executives. In addition, it has maintained stations’ year-ago ratings for programs in its time periods.