Campaign of Distinction: March of the Penguins

Jun 9, 2007  •  Post A Comment

When Hallmark Channel ran the Academy Award-winning documentary “March of the Penguins” in November, the film pulled in the network’s highest numbers to date with a 4.1 household rating, reaching more than 3 million homes.
While the adorable flightless birds deserve much of the credit, so does the marketing team behind the network’s promotion of the film. Laura Masse, the network’s executive VP of marketing, led a crew that developed a multivenue campaign that harnessed virtually all of Hallmark’s outlets to market the film.
The network’s goal with the campaign was to generate mass-market awareness for the film, particularly with adults 25 to 49 who have children 8 to 17 at home.
To reach those people and encourage them to watch the premiere, the campaign included cable, syndicated TV, DirecTV, movie theater handouts, radio, national print ads, online ads, email blasts to Hallmark.com registered users, local spot cable and radio in 15 markets and mall posters.
The local ad sales component included a sweepstakes to win a trip to Sea World.
The cable network also looped in its Hallmark Gold Crown stores with point-of-sale displays in more than 4,000 stores and included a contest to win a trio of plush penguin dolls.
All together, the monthlong campaign equated to $18 million in promotional value, as measured by the exposure generated by those partnerships, Ms. Masse said. She worked on the project with Anthony White, VP marketing; Marvin Dorson, senior VP of creative services; and Jenny Hollis, creative director.
Ms. Masse said she’s proudest of the effort the network made to marshal all its resources. “Our objective in putting the marketing campaign together was not just to drive ratings, but key demo segments. We also wanted it to work across all platforms and with all businesses,” she said.
“We really created this model where not only was the event itself promoted and was successful in driving huge ratings and demos for us, but it was actually a home run right down the center of the brand because of the connection the audiences feel.”
The network marketed the film as a “heartwarming story from the coldest place on earth.”
Laura Masse
Title: Executive VP, marketing, Hallmark Channel
How long in current position: Six months
Year of birth: 1964
Place of birth: Tarrytown, N.Y.
Who knew? Ms. Masse said her alternate career choice was to be a professional cellist. She played the instrument until she went to college.
“I just got to the point where I felt like I needed to have a more business-oriented grounding.”


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