Making Green From Emmy's Red Carpet

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Local ad-sales programs linked to red-carpet coverage of the Emmy Awards on Sept. 16 will reach 57 million E! viewers and 30 million homes served by the TV Guide Network.

Both call their entertainment awards show coverage their Super Bowl in terms of heightened viewership, but the draw here is more women than men.

“There are very few marquee events that target women. That's why this is so key to operators,” said Suzanne Kolb, executive vice president of marketing and communications for E!, which is in the fifth year of its Emmy-related local promotion campaign.


E! gained even more affiliate interest this year by creating three tiers of participation: Cable systems with as few as 30,000 homes could sign up with a chance to earn incentive prizes ranging from digital camcorders or cameras, portable game systems, audio systems and music gift cards.

Broadening the tiers of participation means that E! tune-in information will be heavily promoted in 9 million more cable homes than last year, said senior vice president of integrated marketing Stephen Earley.

To qualify for prizes, systems have to run at least 300 spots for E!'s coverage between Aug. 27 and Sept. 16.

Local systems decide whether to use the prizes for a local sweepstakes, as rewards for new local advertisers or as an employee sales incentive.

The network added product spots into the mix this season for participating systems. Some of the advertisements are for high-speed data services or digital-video recorders, but employ a red-carpet theme, executives said. That helps systems with their local sales goals while promoting the Emmy programming, explained Earley.

TV Guide is staging its second awards-related sweepstakes with Time Warner Cable. The operator previously promoted the channel's coverage of the Golden Globes and Academy Awards with an operator-specific sweepstakes.

That effort, which promoted both viewership and Time Warner's bundled services, attracted 100,000 entries, said TV Guide Network senior vice president of marketing Amy Bates. Of those 100,000, 25% provided contact information for future marketing efforts, she said.

For the Emmy Awards, Time Warner subscribers entered to win a trip to Los Angeles for two, including airfare and two nights' accommodations, to attend a TV Guide Emmy viewing party and an after-party in Hollywood.


Other operators can earn incentives from a second prize pool, including Hollywood trips, Slingbox Pro hardware and DVD recorders, for promoting TV Guide's red-carpet coverage. Cox Communications, Comcast and Charter Communications are participating in the promotion, using customized spots from TV Guide.

Many systems are using the prizes as ad-sales incentives. TV Guide executives said Cox's Omaha, Neb., system created a telephone-sales campaign which earned $500,000 in incremental revenue. The ad executive who sold the most will be traveling to Los Angeles, according to TV Guide Network.