As if Home Box Office's own $10-million-plus marketing campaign to push Band of Brothers wasn't enough, DaimlerChrysler Corp.'s Jeep division is steering millions more in ad support — in part to help bolster viewership of the premium channel's epic $120 million miniseries.
Last week, the Jeep name began appearing at the end of HBO's network television commercials for the miniseries, as well as on the Band
area of the network's Web site.
Users who click on the Jeep name are transported to the automaker's Web site, which promotes its Liberty, Wrangler, Cherokee and Grand Cherokee models. That site promotes Jeep's appearance in Fox's series Murder in Small Town X, along with a Liberty sweepstakes. As of last Thursday, it did not yet plug Band of Brothers.
Meanwhile, a suite of six Jeep commercials is scheduled to break on the major broadcast television networks this week; the 10-hour miniseries began its run Sept. 9.
Tony To, a co-executive producer of Band of Brothers, also produced the Jeep spots, some of which will salute Easy Company, the subject of television's most expensive project ever.
The Jeep/HBO tie-in is unusual. "This wouldn't happen with any other company," an HBO spokesperson said last Thursday, alluding to the commercial-free nature of the premium channel.
Perhaps the last such HBO tie-in that featured advertisers occurred a few years ago in connection with the pay network's coverage of an all-star rock concert originating from England and designed as a benefit for Prince Charles's The Prince's Trust.
Discussions between Jeep and HBO about the Band
tie-in actually began last July, when HBO learned that Jeep wanted to link the World War II miniseries with its own planned 60th anniversary campaign, which calls attention to its role in both D-Day and World War II.