ABC Integrates Ads Into Music Awards

Nov 8, 2004  •  Post A Comment

Two advertisers will be in the limelight during ABC’s broadcast of the American Music Awards show Nov. 14.

T-Mobile and Kay Jewelers have bought integrated packages from ABC. Both had smaller presences in last year’s AMAs and are stepping up with key partnerships. Coca-Cola, which was part of last year’s broadcast, will not be involved.

Ad buyers said the ability to get involved in awards broadcasts makes the high prices of such broadcasts more attractive. But they wonder whether some programs, such as the Academy Awards, will ever integrate advertisers into their presentations.

During the AMA broadcast the T-Mobile Text-in Award will be presented. Viewers can use their T-Mobile phones to text-message votes for Kenny Chesney, Evanescence, Norah Jones, OutKast or Usher, who are nominated for the award. Viewers can also vote online at ABC.Com or via enhanced TV.

The broadcast will feature calls to vote for the Text-In Award, and the winner’s name will be read onstage from a T-Mobile Sidekick paging device.

T-Mobile has also been running a sweepstakes; the grand prize is a trip to the red carpet at the AMAs.

Terms of the deal, negotiated by T-Mobile’s agency Optimedia, were not disclosed.

T-Mobile said sponsorships are a key to its marketing plans. With the AMAs, “We want to reach a wide-ranging audience, with a significant percentage of youth-segment viewers,” said T-Mobile spokesman Peter Dobrow.

“When we approach a potential sponsorship, obviously we want to make sure first and foremost it meets our strategic objective, and from there we hone in on how we can best leverage it and how we can best maximize it, and that brings us into certain components,” he said.

Kay Jewelers will sponsor a backstage lounge at the AMAs, which will be a place for talent to prepare to present awards or perform and where winners will go after getting their awards. The ABC broadcast will feature two “Kay Jewelers Diamond Backstage Moments” featuring talent interviews from the Kay lounge.

The jewelry chain has been promoting the awards in its 750 stores and running its own sweepstakes offering a trip to the show.

“The demographics, adults 18 to 49, are really alighted between Kay and the AMA,” said David Bouffard, director of public relations and promotions for Kay. “It’s valuable enough for us that we expanded our sponsorship this year, based on our experience last year.” Last year Kay bought spots during the broadcast.

He declined to say how much Kay spent on the sponsorship.

Danielle Calnon, director of integrated marketing and promotion for the ABC Television Network, said both packages were negotiated during the upfront. “In this case we knew what these advertisers’ objectives were and we custom-created these for them.”