Every year, CTAM honors the most notable and influential marketing campaigns from cable’s past. The campaign or concept must be at least five years old and have had a positive impact on the company and the industry. These are the 2008 nominees.
BET: Rap-It-Up Campaign
BET, in partnership with the Kaiser Family Foundation, made a commitment to providing reliable information and responsible programming on HIV/AIDS. The network launched “Rap It Up,” a comprehensive public education campaign to educate young viewers about HIV/AIDS and other sexually-transmitted diseases and position BET and its affiliates as sustainable partners in the fight against AIDS.
The campaign has included public service announcements, news and entertainment programming, film contests, community events, classroom and programming guides, online resources, and a dedicated toll-free hotline. With its sustained multiplatform approach to public education, “Rap It Up” is the largest campaign of its kind specifically designed for African-Americans. BET has made all “Rap It Up” programming available rights-free for broadcast and educational distribution worldwide, and the network has proactively distributed content in Africa and the Caribbean.
Fox News Channel: Fair and Balanced Campaign
When Fox was trying to figure out whether to launch a news network in 1996, the company found that while television news was prevalent, viewership was declining. Research determined that the majority of Americans were either non-news viewers or former news viewers disillusioned by the way news was presented.
Rather than being discouraged by those statistics, Fox’s executives decided they could take advantage of viewer apathy. The company hired former CNBC president Roger Ailes to create what it called a “fair and balanced” network to appeal to disgruntled viewers. Fox News Channel was born.
The network extended its fair and balanced mission throughout is distribution and consumer campaigns.
As a result, Fox News became the fastest distributed cable network of all time. In 2002, Fox News became a top 10 cable network. Two years later, the Fox News brand was among the most recognized brands in the country.
HBO: Marketing of 'The Sopranos’
When The Sopranos launched on Home Box Office in 1999, it instantly became a cultural phenomenon and the crown jewel of HBO’s stable of original programming. Before it ended its six-year run, the show took home 21 Emmy Awards and earned the respect of critics around the country. The show was also a hit with TV viewers, with 86% of all TV viewers saying they were aware of the show. In its final season, The Sopranos had the highest on-demand orders per episode of any HBO series on record.
From a creative standpoint, the advertising evolved along with the programming. Print ads blurred the line between art and commerce and differentiated the series from its competition. On and off-channel promos mirrored that strategy and elevated the series to a theatrical level in terms of image, impact and quality.
Every year, HBO launched extensive advertising, publicity and subscriber acquisition campaigns positioned as “cultural events.”
Nickelodeon: Marketing of 'Dora the Explorer’
Nickelodeon set out to create a Latina heroine that would super-serve the growing Hispanic population while still having broad appeal to the general market through storylines and interactive adventures. The result: Dora the Explorer launched on the network in 2000.
Nickelodeon has used various media to target the show’s growing audience including TV spots on Nick; online banners and games on Nickjr.com; ads in Nick Jr. magazine; “Dora Live” tours; themed on-demand content and wireless; print ads; and a Dora balloon in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.
Dora the Explorer has become the No. 1 program for kids between ages 2-5 on all of TV and with all Hispanic kids. It is the top preschool toy license and has sold more than $1.4 billion at retail alone in 2007.
Dora the Explorer is syndicated to TV broadcasters in 125 markets, translated in 24 languages and consumer products are available in 30 territories. The show has been nominated for 12 Daytime Emmy Awards.
Turner Classic Movies: 31 Days of Oscar
Turner Classic Movies launched in 1994 with the world’s largest and most celebrated film library. To take advantage of its extensive programming, TCM packaged more than 300 award-winning and Oscar-nominated films, documentaries, and rare interviews into its “31 Days of Oscar.”
Now in its 14th year, every year’s theme is a little different. Campaigns have been organized around a particular award (Best Picture, Best Actor, etc.), programming each day around a theme (Oscar Goes to New York, Oscar Goes to Prison, etc.), and “360 Degrees of Oscar,” where every movie is linked to the one before and after it.
TCM uses iconic photos or film clips of major stars to draw attention, as well as calendar listings to showcase the festival. The media strategy has included consumer and trade print, TV, online, outdoor and in-cinema buys. TCM has also promoted “31 Days” via screening events, sweepstakes and partnerships.
For more CTAM Summit '08 coverage, click here.