Lifetime Drives Girls to 'Beach’

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Lifetime Television will get a little sand between its toes with the promotion behind its upcoming series Beach Girls.

Bowing on July 31 and airing on four consecutive Sundays in August, Beach Girls, based on the Luanne Rice novel of the same name, is a celebration of friendship, loss, love and forgiveness told through the intertwining lives of a widower and two generations of female friends during a summer in a New England coastal town.

To support the program, starring Rob Lowe and Julia Ormond, Lifetime’s promotion has plenty planned for the sea and the sand.

HIGH, LOW TECH

Tom Hanft, senior vice president of marketing and advertising promotion at Lifetime, said the network is plying a combination of “high-tech and low-tech marketing playing off summer friendships and memories that are central to the series’ theme. We want to create awareness and drive viewership for Beach Girls.”

From July 2 to 4 and again on July 30 and 31, Lifetime “ambassadors” will be stationed in New York (Robert Moses State Park, Jones Beach and Long Beach), New Jersey (Point Pleasant and Ortley Beach), Chicago (Oak Street and North Avenue) and Los Angeles (Santa Monica Pier and Manhattan Beach), where they’ll distribute branded beach balls, towels, chairs, umbrellas, spray bottles and flip-flops, among other goodies.

These workers — supplied by event-marketing agency Grand Central Marketing, which also counts Home Box Office, ESPN and Fox among its clients — will also look to capture beach moments with iPaq PDAs, which take digital pictures that can be e-mailed to friends and families.

Old-school photos also appear in the promotion, as photo booths will be installed in bars in the aforementioned markets on the nights of July 1-3 and July 29-30. In addition to the visual keepsake, visitors can take home free month-long memberships to perfectmatch.com, a partner in a Beach Girls sweepstakes.

Lifetime also plans a text-messaging contest at three beaches in New Jersey and New York on July 30. After text-to-win cards encouraging beachgoers to type in BGIRLS to MYLTV to win prizes have been distributed, phones will ring simultaneously at 3 p.m., with everyone who “texted in” receiving a thanks for entering a message. Winners will be picked on August 1, with American Express gift cards and UT Starcom phones as the booty.

Beach Girls in July will also get bumps at concert venues owned by Premiere Radio Networks in six markets through 30-second promo spots, banners and beach balls.

BEACH BANNERS

Local radio stations and planes flying football-stadium-sized heli banners over beaches will promote tune-in the week before the show’s premiere.

“It’s hard to measure the impact some of these promotional elements have on viewership, but they’re important in terms of branding and creating buzz for the network,” said Hanft.

Other media includes network cable and radio, spot TV and cable, plus national print ads in TV Guide, Star and Soap Opera Digest, as well as bus sides in select markets.

Hanft said it was the largest summer promotion in the network’s history.

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