B of A, Cisco Sign for Anniversary of ‘Sunday Morning’

Jan 19, 2004  •  Post A Comment

CBS has signed Bank of America and Cisco Systems as key sponsors for the 25th anniversary broadcast of the network’s “Sunday Morning” show.
Each advertiser will get category exclusivity for 30 minutes of the 90-minute program airing Jan. 25. They will also each get billboards announcing their sponsorships.
Sources familiar with the packages said they cost about $150,000 each and included four 30-second spots. CBS usually gets about $25,000 per commercial, which means the package is generating a 50 percent premium over the usual spot price.
The anniversary special is expected to generate higher-than-normal ratings, and the sponsors also got other value-added features, including the ability to invite key clients to a party held in New York last week featuring top CBS executives and the “Sunday Morning” anchors and contributors.
“We think it’s going to be a very special broadcast and we’re going full-bore on the promotion side to bring attention to this broadcast, and we think our advertisers will benefit from that,” said Mike Nowacki, VP of news and late-night sales at CBS.
CBS pitched the special in early November during presentations about the network’s improved performance in the early-morning daypart.
“We had a number of exploratory conversations that got serious, and sometimes you agree to agree on price and sometimes you don’t. We stuck to our guns in believing that there was a premium value attached to this show,” Mr. Nowacki said. “It was nice to see advertisers stepping up in these times to buy quality environments like this.”
Cisco is a regular advertiser on the Sunday morning public affairs shows.
“That’s typically where a business audience, adults 25 to 54, tend to be at that time. It’s a pretty selective audience,” said George Gutierrez, director of worldwide media operations at Cisco.
Cisco is only an occasional advertiser on “Sunday Morning.”
“We’ve supported the show `Sunday Morning’ in the past and we’d like to help them celebrate their anniversary,” Mr. Gutierrez said.
Cisco will be running new commercials from its year-old `This is the power of the network now’ corporate campaign.
A spokesperson for Bank of America said advertising on the anniversary broadcast “will help us reach millions of viewers” with the company’s “higher standards” message.
Because Cisco and Bank of America received exclusivity, some of the broadcast’s scheduled advertisers were bumped.
Upscale Viewers
CBS’s Mr. Nowacki said Bank of America, Cisco, Merck (which has a number of spots on the show as well) and other advertisers want to reach upscale viewers-professionals and owners and managers of businesses-who are hard to reach because they watch little television.
So far this season, “Sunday Morning” is averaging a 3.5 rating and 11 share, or 4.67 million viewers, up 8 percent from last year and 3 percent ahead of NBC’s Sunday “Today,” which is averaging 4.53 million viewers.
Mr. Nowacki expects the show to get a boost from the anniversary festivities. “This push may bring back some of the viewers who may have meandered somewhere else,” he said. “It’s a way to remind them what a great broadcast this is.”