Commercial-free Turner Classic Movies is encouraging viewers to enter a JCPenney sweepstakes as part of the cable network’s annual Oscar promotion.
TCM is holding its 10th annual “31 Days of Oscar” promotion this month, despite the fact that February has only 28 days. TCM previously held the promotion during the month of March, when the Oscars used to air.
“We decided to keep the `31 Days’ because we had brand equity in that franchise,” said Katherine Evans, senior VP of marketing and enterprises at TCM. The Oscar-packed movie fest will spill over a few days in to March.
For this year’s “31 Days of Oscar” TCM was able to tie into a sweepstakes being run by JCPenney, which is an official Academy Award sponsor.
JCPenney was making a cross-platform deal to promote the sweepstakes with Time Warner’s magazine group, and TCM, also owned by Time Warner, was brought into the deal. TCM promos will urge viewers to visit JCPenney stores, where they can pick up game pieces to get a chance to win $100,000 and a trip to the Red Carpet ceremonies at the 2006 Academy Awards.
Though TCM doesn’t run conventional advertising, “We’re approached by a lot of entities that want to be associated with the brand and the movies,” Ms. Evans said. The arrangement with JCPenney is “not a revenue-generating thing for us. This is about additional exposure time this offers us,” she said.
TCM is also using “31 Days of Oscar” for three separate cable operator promotions, and 175 affiliates have signed up.
In 28 major markets, interconnects have signed up to run Oscar-themed spots they can sell to local clients. The spots allow local advertisers to tie into the TCM brand and the Academy Awards. The spots don’t run on TCM, but appear on the other channels into which the interconnect inserts local ads.
In midsize markets, TCM is running a radio promotion, including an Oscar trivia contest, with a big-screen TV as the top prize.
Another 45 operators have signed up for TCM materials to help sell high-speed data service.
TCM is also working with Barnes & Noble Books and Music to put “31 Days of Oscar” displays in 450 stores nationwide. Viewers who buy Oscar-winning movies will receive a DVD of Oscar-winning shorts.
TCM will air 365 Academy Award-winning pictures during its “31 Days” event, including 20 that have never been on the channel before and 51 that have never been part of its Oscars event. Among those new to “31 Days” are “Peyton Place,” “The Rose Tattoo,” “Long Day’s Journey Into Night,” “L.A. Confidential” and “Quiz Show.”