Court Mounts All-Out Effort

Jul 18, 2005  •  Post A Comment

Court TV plans to cover New York with evidence that its prime-time programming is as “seriously entertaining” as its new slogan suggests.

The network is scheduled to launch a multimillion-dollar outdoor advertising campaign today that applies common investigative terms such as “undercover” and “alibi” to everyday products, all printed in black type on a bright yellow background that suggests police crime-scene tape. The display was designed to attract attention, according to Marc Juris, general manager of Court TV.

“This is the biggest [outdoor] campaign we’ve ever done,” Mr. Juris said, comparing the push in scope to a campaign for Apple Computer’s iPod and MTV2’s two-headed dog promotion.

The cable network’s campaign is designed to emphasize the separation between Court TV’s daytime coverage of trials-now under the Court TV News banner-and its prime-time entertainment programming.

After the branding campaign, the network will reinforce its message with the rollout of its new show “Parco P.I.” in August.

“We’re really immersing the consumer in a lot of different media at once,” Mr. Juris said. “We want to show that everything around you can be part of a Court TV story.”

He said the campaign was designed to be entertaining as well as arresting. “If you say you’re entertaining, the very first place you need to be entertaining is in your consumer marketing,” he said.

Postings pasted over other signs say “The Cover-Up”; “The Lookout” will be written on phone kiosks; taxi tops will say “Getaway Car”; bus sides will bear the words “Witness Relocation”; coffee cup sleeves warn about “The Heat”; deli bags are labeled “The Stash” and umbrellas used by street vendors will go “Undercover.” Court TV will also give out new T-shirts that say “The Alibi” and “The Witness” to vendors.

Court TV is buying 62 wrapped phone kiosks, or 89 percent of those available in New York; signs on top of 600 taxis, or 8 percent of all available cabs; 600 bus sides and bus rears, or 14 percent of those available; 400,000 coffee sleeves and 1.5 million deli bags to make its point.

“This is a blanket to reach opinion leaders, buzz-makers, consumers, advertisers and the press. It’s a statement to call attention to the network in the most imaginative ways possible,” Mr. Juris said.

The campaign might be extended to other key markets, but, “There are not many cities where you can do this effectively,” he added.