Sponsors Jump on ‘Green’ Bandwagon

Nov 4, 2007  •  Post A Comment

NBC Universal’s weeklong environmental initiative is attracting green from major marketers.
Procter & Gamble, General Motors, Toyota, Lexus, Honda, Home Depot, Wal-Mart and NBC parent General Electric are among the sponsors of “Green Is Universal” content appearing on multiple platforms this week.
Most of the companies are already NBC sponsors, but the green initiative is estimated to be bringing in more than $10 million in extra ad dollars.
(Full disclosure:As part of the effort, NBCU purchased a takeover of the TVWeek.com home page for today.)
NBC has sold a sponsorship attached to its long-running “The More You Know” public service campaign. This week’s “The More You Know” spots will be brought to you by P&G brands Tide, Gain and Iams. After each PSA, one of the P&G spots will air.
P&G has been reformulating its laundry brands to save energy and reduce environmental damage, said Kash Shaikh, P&G marketing manager for Tide.
“We are doing a lot of environmental outreach,” he said, and the partnership with NBCU is “one of the places where we’re spotlighting this.”
NBC’s sales effort began in September, said Shari Post, VP for daytime and late-night sales at the network.
“Once we knew that all the platforms were going to be getting involved, we went out and began to have preliminary conversations with advertising agencies so they would know from a programming perspective how deeply NBCU was getting behind this,” Ms. Post said. The network then circled back to offer sponsorship packages to companies with their own environmental stories to tell.
“I think they see an opportunity to be involved in a precedent-setting, overarching campaign that we’re initiating,” she said. “We feel like there is certainly enough interest in the environmental subject that it could generate some additional attention.”
NBC is constructing special “podbusters” for “Green Is Universal” sponsors. When commercial breaks begin, they’ll tell viewers to stay tuned for a special environmental message, which is a vignette featuring actors from NBC shows discussing green issues. The vignette is followed by a sponsor’s commercial, many of which will be green-themed.
The automakers are among the biggest sponsors.
GM’s Chevrolet division will have spots during “Bionic Woman,” “Friday Night Lights” and “Sunday Night Football.” The automaker has been pushing an environmental message since the July 5 Live Earth concert and has five different commercials describing ways in which it is pursuing better fuel efficiency and lower emissions.
“This is another way to get that message out,” a GM spokeswoman said.
Toyota is a “Green” sponsor across news, prime time, late night, “Sunday Night Football,” CNBC and MSNBC.
Lexus has signed up as the presenting sponsor of “Green Is Universal” on Sundance Channel, which is partly owned by NBC. The automaker, which sponsors “Big Ideas for a Small Planet” on Sundance, also will sponsor the show when it appears this week on Bravo. It will be running ads adjacent to “ecoist” vignettes created by Sundance when they appear on Bravo. Lexus also is the launch partner for greenisuniversal.com, the digital hub for green information.
Podbusters and spots for Wal-Mart and Home Depot will appear in prime time. Wal-Mart also is buying time in daytime, while Home Depot also will appear in late night.
NBCU plans to run more than 150 hours of environmentally themed content this week across its divisions and platforms. All of the NBC network’s logos are scheduled to turn green Nov. 4 at 8 p.m. ET.


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