Court’s ‘Psychic’ Aims to Engage

Oct 3, 2005  •  Post A Comment

One of the advertisers that bought into Court TV’s promise that its shows engage viewers will sponsor the launch of the third season of “Psychic Detectives.”

Pfizer, maker of Visine, will be involved in a series of promotions designed to attract viewers to “Psychic Detectives,” a show the network says engages viewers more than the average broadcast show.

Pfizer’s media buying agency is Carat, one of four agencies with which Court TV made upfront deals that guarantee delivery of a level of engagement in addition to the traditional audience delivery. Terms of the deal were not available and Court TV has not disclosed the exact metrics each agency uses to measure engagement.

Ambien, the sleep aid sold by Sanofi-Aventis, will also sponsor the launch of the show, which will be the network’s programming tentpole for the fourth quarter. Ambien’s deal does not include an engagement guarantee.

After a two-week promotional buildup, Court TV will run six consecutive original episodes of “Psychic Detectives” at 10 p.m. (ET) Wednesday nights beginning Oct. 5. Many of the promotional activities will be co-branded with Visine and Ambien.

The show has had a ratings boost since it appeared on NBC in June. First-run episodes of the show averaged a 1.0 rating with 989,000 viewers on Court TV in June, and grew to a 1.3 rating and 1.3 million viewers in September, according to Nielsen Media Research.

While the show was on NBC, aspects of its ability to engage viewers were also measured. IAG Research found the show scored 10 percent higher than the average broadcast show for viewer attentiveness and 21 percent higher for brand recall for the commercials within the show. Attentiveness and recall are two measures IAG uses to determine how engaged viewers are.

Charlie Collier, executive VP of advertising for Court TV, said the figures mean that advertisers don’t need a crystal ball to predict that their ads will be effective when they air on “Psychic Detective.”

“We are offering the opportunity to get involved with not just the tentpole event, but the effectiveness and ROI-proven programming that supports that tentpole,” he said. On top of that, it’s great to have the NBC exposure, he said.

Court TV has been putting together promotion packages wrapped around one of its key programs for about a year. “We’re getting better at what we’re doing,” eliminating elements that don’t work and fine-tuning ones that do, Mr. Collier said.

To promote the show, Court TV will have a “Psychic Circle” stunt at Time Warner on Oct. 5 at which 50 psychics will be reading tarot cards, reading palms and otherwise telling fortunes. At the event, there will be a VIP section for ad sales and affiliate relations clients.

That day, street teams will distribute tune-in postcards that will carry the names of the sponsors. They’ll also distribute “Psychic Detectives” candles.

The network will run online ads and will also run an online sweepstakes, sponsored by Visine.

A radio promotion will air in 20 markets, with prizes given away to random callers or listeners who answer trivia questions.

“Psychic Detectives” revisits real-life cases in which psychics and law enforcement officers have worked together to solve crimes. The show is produced by Superfine Films and Story House Productions.