New York -- A&E Network, which will present four
original primetime Horatio Hornblower movies on four consecutive Sundays starting
April 4, hopes to put some wind in the project's sails via a hefty sweepstakes
promotion, worth well over $10 million, according to the service.
A&E's promo support -- created by Promotion
Development Group and implemented by Michael Mohamad, the network's vice president of
consumer and on-air marketing -- will set sail today (March 15).
The network will promote the four shows as separate
self-contained movies with distinct titles, rather than as a miniseries, Mohamad said last
John Zamoiski, president of PDG, said the overall promo
value will be "in excess of $10 million," excluding cross-channel promos. Noting
that he's worked on many cable-network launches and other promotions since 1981, he
said, "I have never seen as complete an effort as this one."
A "Cast Off for Adventure" affiliate sweepstakes
will involve more than 200 affiliates, while Strategy First will back a "Sail
Away" retail sweepstakes" in 5,000 stores that stock its "Man of War
A&E will award more than 40 Windjammer Caribbean
cruises in the various contests.
Barnes and Noble will assist with tie-in displays in more
than 500 "superstores," touting the 12 Little, Brown and Co. Hornblower
books and others with nautical themes.
In a more unusual stunt, A&E and the Nautical Heritage
Society will stage mock tall-ship battles in the harbors of eight major cities, including
New York, Baltimore, Philadelphia, Boston and San Diego; radio stations in each market
Mohamad said A&E is now "targeting a couple of
other original movies" for similar support.