A+E Networks has signed up a half-dozen premium sponsors for its three-network simulcast of miniseries Bonnie & Clyde.
Starring starring Emile Hirsch (Into the Wild) and Holliday Grainger (The Borgias) in the title roles of Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker, the four-hour miniseries will debut on Dec. 8 and 9 at 9 p.m. (ET) simultaneously on A&E, History and Lifetime with cross-network sponsorships and customized ad content from Geico, Jeep Cherokee, DirecTV, Match.com, GlaxoSmithKline and 20th Century Fox’ theatrical The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. Sponsorship package pricing was not disclosed.
Bonnie & Clyde was originally slated for solo run on Lifetime. A+E Networks then brought History, which has enjoyed big-time succcess recently with miniseries, into the mix. The network's 2012 three-installment Hatfields & McCoys was the most-watched miniseries in cable history averaging some 13 million watchers, while its 2013 five-parter, The Bible, averaged more than 10 million viewers. In September, the programmer decided to also air Bonnie & Clyde on A&E, completing the three-network simulcast on its flagship services.
Geico is partnering on all three channels, with A+E Networks creating custom-shot, tune-in content messaging around the insurer’s “Did you know?” campaign. The tune-in spots premiere on-air Nov. 27. Additional executions are being created for each of the three networks to air in-show, tailored to speak in the voice and audience of each service.
Jeep Cherokee will also be partnering across all three networks, with the programmer creating custom content to air both in-show and drive tune-in. The spots launch Dec. 4, positioning Cherokee as the ultimate escape vehicle. Another on-air piece will also drive to Jeep Cherokee’s exclusive digital partnership, which will provide a consumer experience on all screens.
Direct TV is continuing its partnership with A&E and History via a custom behind-the-scenes content piece -- serving as both a tune-in and in-show device -- providing viewers with an inside look into the making of Bonnie & Clyde. The ads commence Dec. 1.
Match.com is supporting its sponsorship by hosting a Bonnie & Clyde soiree at New York City’s Stash on Dec. 4 for its members. The event will include 1930s-themed drink specials, and miniseries-inspired collateral, such as napkins, posters, banners, trailers and invitations and staff and bartenders will be dressed in era-appropriate fashion.
Pharmaceutical manufacturer GlaxoSmithKline is backing both nights with a three-network sponsorship that includes commercial units, billboards and tagged tune-ins. The creative will support their upcoming asthma.com campaign.
For its part, 20th Century Fox: The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, released in theaters on Christmas day, will feature creative on all three networks.
“This is a historic moment for A+E Networks. Not only are we launching our first cross-network scripted event, Bonnie & Clyde, we're also able to provide these incredible multi-network sponsorship opportunities,” said David DeSocio, senior vice president, ad sales marketing and Partnerships, A+E Networks, in announcing the sponsorship pacts. “Our partners can go broad with the breadth of our major brands, A&E, History and Lifetime – and deep with the ability to speak to each network’s unique audience individually, across all our platforms.”