Comcast will pour some marketing bucks into Fancast.com with a national ad campaign that has the tagline "See It For Yourself," designed to drive Internet users to watch free TV episodes at the video and entertainment portal.
The cable company is not disclosing the total spend of the Fancast campaign, which is set to run for 13 weeks through the fall TV season.
Beginning today, Fancast's "See It For Yourself" campaign will launch with a series of five spots that feature recaps of popular shows including CBS's CSI: Miami, NCIS and How I Met Your Mother; Fox's Glee; and the classic TV show Gilligan's Island.
The three Fancast TV spots featuring CBS shows will air on that network. Additionally, the whole series of spots will air on targeted national cable networks, including Bravo, TBS, TNT, MTV, VH1, SoapNet, Lifetime and A&E, according to Comcast spokeswoman Charlene Fitzgibbon.
The campaign comes after the biggest Internet TV site -- Hulu, the joint venture of NBC, ABC/Disney and Fox -- debuted its TV ads during this year's Super Bowl. Comcast is also a Hulu partner, and makes Hulu content available through Fancast.com.
"See It For Yourself" was created by Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, the agency behind Comcast's "Dream Big" campaign. In the spots, a friend, colleague or random stranger is recapping the plot of a TV episode verbally to someone -- the point being that the experience of watching and enjoying a TV show for yourself is irreplaceable.
In addition, Comcast will run online video banners as part of the "See It For Yourself" campaign, featuring cliffhanger clips from shows. The banner ads will be featured on major online portals, entertainment sites and TV fan sites, as well as Comcast-owned properties such as E!, Style and Daily Candy.
The campaign also will include outdoor advertising comprising four interactive bus shelters positioned around the San Francisco area. Fancast content will be available to passersby and commuters on screens with interactive controls that will enable users to search, choose and watch a variety of TV clips as they wait, Comcast said.
"After a year of great traffic growth and building our community, Fancast has consistently brought the best in TV to consumers through video content and expert commentary from our arsenal of pop culture and entertainment experts," said Karin Gilford, senior vice president of Fancast and Online Entertainment for Comcast Interactive Media, in a statement. "Now, we are ready to share the amazing content and anywhere-anytime convenience of Fancast through our 'See It For Yourself' campaign, which we think will entertain fans as much as the stellar content on our site."
Fancast.com touts more than 10,000 hours of online video programming along with blogs, listings, slideshows, Q&As, live chats and other content aimed at TV fans.