Court’s New Outlook Hits Streets

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Today, Court TV officially gets serious about its dual-daypart strategy.

The investigation channel will begin a blitz aimed at steeling the notion that it’s one brand with differentiated programming in two different dayparts: “Court TV News” and “Seriously Entertaining.”

The “multimedia, multimillion” effort is the largest in the network’s history, according to Court officials.

“The idea is for the campaign to communicate that there are two ways to look at Court TV,” general manager of programming and marketing Marc Juris said. “By day, it’s the legal news network of record with great coverage of trials and analysis. In primetime and on weekends, Court is an investigative entertainment channel that tells great stories.”

NEW ON-AIR LOOKS

To distinguish the two, Court on July 18 at 9 a.m. will began tagging its daytime as Court TV News and the primetime and weekend fare as Seriously Entertaining, replete with new on-air looks and ID packages.

At this point, Juris said, the network does not intend to ask Nielsen Media Research to split ratings coverage of the service, a la Nickelodeon and Nick at Nite and Cartoon Network with its late-night Adult Swim block.

“We’re doing this to make the brand easier to navigate for viewers,” said Juris. “If we can make the programming resonate more with viewers, it will ultimately boost our ratings and advertising sales efforts.”

In the second quarter, Court TV posted a 0.8 average in primetime, matching its prior-year performance. During the day, the network said it was the second-ranked cable news network behind Fox News Channel in the second quarter among adults 18 to 49 and 25 to 54, averaging 132,000 and 159,000 of those viewers, respectively.

In addition to deploying its own on-air and online resources, Court will initiate a huge outdoor push in New York to promulgate the Seriously Entertaining tagline.

The media plans calls for wild postings and billboards and to ring in with 77 wrapped phone kiosks, or 89% of those available in the market, plus 479 vertical phone kiosks.

Court hopes to catch New Yorkers where they eat and drink, with coffee sleeves (featuring “The Heat”), deli bags (“The Stash”) and street vendors (“Undercover” written on umbrellas), some of whom will be outfitted with aprons labeled as “The Witness,” “The Accomplice” and “The Alibi.”

Street decals, featuring the phrase “Perp Walk” will also be in sight.

The network will also go mobile with taxi tops (600 cabs, 8% of those available); bus sides (600, 14% of those available); and bus tails (ditto). The words “Witness Relocation” will reside on bus sides, while the vehicles’ tails will read “Roadblock.”

TOUCHED IN NYC

“New York City allows us to use media wherever people walk and can be touched by messages,” said Juris, adding that Court would evaluate the campaign and could move elements to other DMAs.

Following a month or more of “Seriously Entertaining” brand-building, senior vice president of marketing Mary Corigliano said Court will begin leveraging the new daypart identity alongside tune-in efforts.

Voyeur reality series Parco. P.I., tracking the work of a dysfunctional family of private eyes, will be backed by a full media plan that was still being fleshed out at press time. The initiative, trumpeting the show’s premiere on Aug. 28, will encompass national print and radio schedules, as well as spot cable and broadcast buys, according to Corigliano

Psychic Detectives will also receive a tune-in salvo when new episodes of its third season bow on Oct. 5. Juris has high hopes for improved performance, given the show’s added exposure via repurposed airings on NBC this summer. “The show was exposed to a different audience. We’re hopeful many, who might not have otherwise, will follow it to Court TV.”

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