When The Independent Film Channel asked focus groups across
the country what kind of personality the network would have if it were a person, loyal
viewers didn't just shrug off the question.
"We were told that IFC was the only channel that would
drive a motorcycle and wear a leather jacket," executive vice president and general
manager Ed Carroll said.
IFC has created a new series of on-air spots designed to
highlight the unique and irreverent personality of the network, which celebrates its fifth
birthday in September.
In addition to on-air placement, IFC will run its new spots
in Clearview Cinemas, owned by IFC parent Cablevision Systems Corp., and also in Landmark
Theaters, the largest chain of art-house theaters in the country.
According to IFC senior vice president of marketing and
public relations Caroline Bock, Landmark does not typically run ads of any kind, but it
made an exception for IFC.
Through the help of Clearview, IFC will also run its own
theater of sorts later this week when it presents the first-ever Woodstock Film Festival
as part of the 30th anniversary festival held July 23 through 25 in Rome, N.Y.
"We expect 150,000 people to be camped out in our
[converted B-52 airplane] hangar," Bock said. IFC will shower film buffs with water
bottles, flying discs and other premiums.
Films at the Woodstock festival include classic
independents such as Blue Velvet, Easy Rider and TheRocky Horror
Picture Show, plus a sneak preview of Outside Providence, which will be
released later this summer by Miramax.
In addition to the more than 40 independent films, the
Woodstock Film Festival will show the first of 12 spots in IFC's new "Boris"
image campaign, which will run on-air and in theaters.
The IFC-created Boris character teaches film students to
"never go Hollywood." Guest stars in upcoming spots will include Rosie Perez,
Illeana Douglas, Brendan Fraser, Christian Slater and even George Stephanopolous.
The spots will also bring back a young actress of recent
Pepsi fame, Hallie Kate Eisenberg, who got her start playing young indie director
"Christie" in a 1997 IFC image campaign.
IFC has also beefed up its on-air look with "IFC
Boxscore," which gives viewers movie trivia before and after films.
For film buffs who want a closer look at movies, the
network introduced its All Access IFC special. On the last Thursday of each month,
IFC will air a film overlaid with running commentary and outtakes of scenes that have been
cut from the movie. "We're creating the ultimate insider viewing experience,"
On the marketing side, Bock said, "We have to keep
reinventing ourselves and pushing the irreverence. The cycle for branding is much shorter
for us than for the average network."