Stars to Chime In for NBC

Oct 26, 2008  •  Post A Comment

NBC is adding some star power to its “Chime In” branding campaign.

The network has enlisted seven well-known musical acts—including rapper T.I., blues legend B.B. King and country star Clint Black—to record unique versions of the Peacock network’s signature G-E-C chimes. Ten-second spots featuring the performances will begin popping up in prime time next month, appearing during the closing credits of shows.

NBC has been using its own on-air talent in chime-themed ads since the season began last month. Expanding the concept to big-name musicians is designed to up the entertainment value of the ads, according to NBC marketing executives.

“It’s part of a concerted effort to make our commercial breaks more entertaining,” said Adam Stotsky, head of marketing for NBC Entertainment. Mr. Stotsky added that as networks move to an economic model where their compensation is based on commercial ratings, it will become more important than ever to get audiences to stick with a network during ad breaks.
Other acts participating in the campaign include the B-52s, the Flaming Lips, Richie Sambora and Airborne Toxic Event.

The first phase of NBC’s “Chime In” campaign, launched in January, had the network tagging each of its on-air spots with some form of the NBC chimes. Last month, the network started running spots in which NBC talent such as Masi Oka and Jenna Fischer offered their own interpretations of the G-E-C chimes.

John Miller, chief marketing officer of the NBC Universal TV Group, said “Chime In” will continue to grow, with more celebrities being added in the coming months. The network also is open to working with advertisers to develop branded versions of the chimes.

“I don’t know that these things are for sale, but if somebody had a movie coming out and wanted to develop something, we’d consider it,” he said. The network is looking at holiday versions of the chimes as well.

“It’s limitless,” Mr. Miller said.

Mr. Miller declined to say how much NBC was paying talent to appear in the “Chime In” spots. “It’s a modest amount,” he said, adding that all of the celebs are getting the same paycheck.

The next step in the “Chime In” branding campaign will come next year, when NBC plans to begin airing viewer-generated versions. The network has already created a “Chime In” section on the NBC.com Web site that encourages viewers to sound off on network programming.


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