From buying ads on buses to creating online trivia games, Lifetime Television is ramping up a marketing push for its Sept. 19 premiere of Will & Grace.
Lifetime executives described the marketing campaign as the largest ever for an acquired series on the network, but they wouldn’t discuss how much money they’ll spend on it.
Will & Grace drew a mostly female audience to NBC. Lifetime hopes the series will attract more viewers from its core audience of women 18 to 49, according senior vice president and executive creative director Gerry Logue.
Logue said the focus of the marketing push will be to tie the sitcom to Lifetime’s brand, noting that the characters on the show are already well-known by TV viewers.
“Rather than going out and selling the concept of the show, we’re selling the idea of packaging Will & Grace and Lifetime. Everywhere, our message will be Will & Grace and Lifetime,” Logue said.
Lifetime created a 1,000-question online trivia game which will target Will & Grace fans. The game will be available on Lifetime’s Web site (www.lifetimetv.com) from Sept. 7 to 18.
A winner will be announced on Sept. 19, during a Will & Grace: Backstage Pass retrospective special, which will run at 8 p.m.
Lifetime senior vice president of interactive TV Kris Soumas predicted the online game would be played more than 1 million times.
Lifetime will also buy “nontraditional” advertising in malls in New York, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Boston and Atlanta, and ads on double-decker buses in New York. The network said it will also buy spot TV ads and radio advertising.
Shelley Morrison, the actress who plays Rosario the maid on Will & Grace, recorded a series of promos and interstitials that will tout the show.
The network will also run “Will & Grace moments” that highlight the show as 15- and 30-second program interstitials.