The following is a list of cable-network marketing and
promotional projects that are either ongoing or on the drawing board for the remainder of
the year. Some services have not firmed up their promotional plans for the rest of 1998,
and they are thus not listed.
Starting June 29, A&E will begin running its
"Mysteries to Die for" series five nights per week. The network will kick off
the festivities with its "July to Die for" event -- four weeklong blocks of
mysteries throughout July, with each week featuring a different crime solver: Hercule
Poirot (June 29 to July 3), Sherlock Holmes (July 6 to 10), Inspector Morse (July 13 to
17) and Miss Marple (July 20 to 24). A&E will also run the "Mystery Weekend to
Die for" national sweepstakes, which will offer 33 grand prizes of weekend trips to
Phoenix to participate in a "murder-mystery" weekend. Other versions of the
sweepstakes will be offered exclusively to certain MSOs and systems. A separate contest
for certain systems in the New York area, titled "Mystery in the Park
Sweepstakes," will grant 45 winners and their guests a day in the "Big
Apple," enjoying "high tea" at the Plaza Hotel, dining at Tavern on the
Green and participating in an adventure in Central Park, during which they'll try to
uncover clues to solve a mystery.
American Movie Classics
From July 31 through August 21, AMC will run its "Remember
WENN Watch and Win Sweepstakes," in conjunction with the fourth season of its
award-winning series, Remember WENN. The series will premiere July 19 on a new day
and time -- Friday at 10 p.m. EST and 10:30 p.m. PST. The sweepstakes, co-sponsored by
Radio Spirits, will feature as its grand prize an all-expenses-paid trip to New York and a
walk-on role on the series.
AMC goes ape-crazy in September with the launch of its
"Primates Across America for Planet of the Apes on AMC" marketing
initiative. The national cause-marketing promotion, which honors the 30th anniversary of Planet
of the Apes, will run in conjunction with AMC's Planet of the Apes
documentary and film festival. AMC is not monkeying around: Prizes will be awarded to U.S.
zoos that get their primates to watch at least one of the Planet of the Apes
Boo! In late October, AMC offers up the "Monsterfest:
House of Horrors Sweepstakes," a national event in conjunction with the airing of a
week of classic monster movies (beginning Oct. 26) and culminating in an all-day/all-night
"AMC Monster Moviethon" on Halloween weekend. The contest will give one family
the chance to have themselves and their home made over for Halloween by horror-movie pros.
The winners will also be whisked away to New York to an annual horror expo at Madison
"Scare" Garden. AMC will promote the contest starting in early September with
radio and cross-channel spots, print ads and point-of-purchase displays. In a radio
tie-in, titled "Scream," listeners will be invited to participate in a
"scream-off" contest, with the winner to receive a one-year supply of airline
The "Paws Across the Planet" promotion, designed
to help affiliates in their acquisition and local-ad-sales efforts, offers subscribers a
chance to win an all-expenses-paid safari tour for two through Africa's Serengeti,
personally guided by Jim Fowler, host of Mutual of Omaha'sWild Kingdom.
The grand-prize winner will also appear on Animal Planet during its "World Animal
Day" celebration in October. Other winners will be awarded giant panda dolls (the
giant panda is the endangered animal being honored by this year's celebration).
"Animal Planet Rescue" brings together affiliates
and the American Humane Association to help instruct the public and rescue workers on how
to protect animals in times of natural or man-made disaster. The promotion will center
around an 80-foot disaster-relief vehicle and a mobile park that will travel to 20 U.S.
markets during 1998. The relief truck -- which features an ambulance, a mobile veterinary
clinic, rescue rafts and a high-tech command center -- will make affiliate-sponsored
visits where the public can learn about animal-safety issues. At these stops, local cable
companies can invite the public to tour the truck and to visit Animal Planet Park. The
park is an interactive animal-themed festival where visitors can meet AHA rescue workers,
view Animal Planet programming, participate in games and contests and watch presentations
by specially trained animals such as police dogs and horses.
BET on Jazz
BET on Jazz is partnering with Festival Productions and
various other sponsors to present several major jazz festivals from June to August.
Performances will air on BET on Jazz's Jazz Scene, a music-newsmagazine
series. Signage and promotion will appear on local radio and in newspapers.
BET on Jazz will partner with Canada-based Rogers
Cablesystems and other sponsors during the "Caribana" festival -- an annual
Caribbean-community-based celebration in the Toronto area that takes place from July to
August. The festival will be promoted in radio, print and cross-channel spots.
Black Entertainment Television
BET is teaming up with Coors Brewing Co., MCA, Motown and
Kedar Entertainment for the "Coors Light Roots of the Rhythm Tour," which dances
its way through nine U.S. cities from spring to fall, featuring concerts by
rhythm-and-blues and rap artists who will perform on the "BET on Wheels" mobile
stage. Local-affiliate systems will be involved in the concerts, which will be partnered
with a different annual community event at each stop to help generate interest and
awareness. The concert series -- which will include performances by Chico DeBarge, Keith
Washington and Shades -- began May 24, and they will run until Oct. 30.
Bravo begins its "Start Smart" program this
summer, in conjunction with Americans for the Arts and operator affiliates. It's
aimed at bringing an arts education to every child.
The network will also continue its yearlong partnership
with Borders Books & Music in support of the Bravo Profiles series. Bravo and
Borders are inviting cable affiliates this fall to take part in the promotion, which will
create a list of favorite artists nationwide.
Cable News Network
In conjunction with the premiere of CNN's landmark TheCold War documentary series, the network plans a multipart outreach plan, led by
the series' online companion, CNN.com/ColdWar, which will offer informative and
interactive multimedia content. Other parts of the plan include: a collaboration between
CNN, CNN Interactive and Turner Learning, endorsed by the National Council for Social
Studies, on a CD-ROM containing a teachers' guide to the series, episode summaries
and other educational information related to the series; the Sept. 6 release of a
companion book, Cold War: An Illustrated Series, published by Time Warner's
Little, Brown and Co.; Warner Home Video's Oct. 6 release of a
collector's-edition box of the complete series; and Warner Bros. International
Television's distribution of the series around the world.
"Dexter's Duplication Summer" celebrates the
expansion of Dexter's Laboratory from Wednesdays to an 8 p.m.,
Monday-through-Friday showcase, starting June 15. The campaign encompasses daily on-air
giveaways, a fantasy Dexter's Laboratory grand prize and a summerlong live
touring event. The giveaways will continue through August 7. The winner of the grand prize
will have his or her bedroom "Dexter-ized" into a laboratory by the series
creators. The touring portion -- taking place from May 29 through August 26 -- will
feature a bus-sized mobile unit that will visit dozens of U.S. locations, including Six
Flags Theme Parks and major shopping malls. Discovery Zone will sponsor regular on-air
spots on Cartoon during the tour. Local radio stations and cable affiliates will partner
with Cartoon for each market visit. Local cable cross-channel spots will support each
event, and supplemental media will be targeted through live radio remotes from the events.
In celebration of Lego Systems Inc.'s 25th anniversary
in the United States, the toy maker will team up with Cartoon's Scooby-Doo for a
monthlong retail and on-air sweepstakes in October, titled "Zoinks!." A lucky
winner will receive the entire 1998 Lego assortment, to be delivered by Scooby himself, in
his "mystery machine." The "Lego Imagination Celebration Truck," which
will tour the United States this summer and fall, will also make a special stop at the
winner's home. Cartoon will air a 25-hour Scooby-Doo marathon -- from 6 a.m. on Oct.
24 to 7 a.m. on Oct. 25 -- and one week of Scooby-Doo movies, Oct. 26 to 31, at 8 p.m.,
culminating Halloween night with a primetime-TV world premiere, all sponsored by Lego. The
sweepstakes will be promoted in Lego Mania Magazine and on Cartoon's Web site
on America Online Inc.
Cartoon is reteaming up with Hasbro Toys and Games in
November for an on-air promotion called "Say When!" their fourth-annual
giveaway, which aims to deliver 1,500 new toys to contest winners. Spots will air on
Cartoon Nov. 1 through 13, giving details on how to win. Additional information will be
available on Cartoon's AOL Web site. The grand-prize winner will be visited by an
"ACME Corporation" crew, who will seat the winner on a throne and pile up toys
and games around him or her until the winner holds up a "When!" sign. Footage
from the event will be shown on the network Friday, Nov. 28, at noon (EST).
CBS Eye on People
In conjunction with its series, The Best of Us, Eye
on People is running its first local promotion, which will allow cable systems to solicit
nominations for community heroes who would then be profiled on the series. The series
salutes ordinary people who accomplish extraordinary things in their communities. In
addition to the on-air spots, Eye on People will make donations to the heroes'
favorite charities on behalf of their local cable systems. A mix of taggable TV and radio
spots, posters and newspaper ads will be used to seek out nominees. Local cable systems
will choose a number of community representatives as judges for the campaign. The
promotion will continue into 1999.
From May 1 to Dec. 15, Cinemax is running its "Cinemax
Fan Van" consumer-affiliate promotion. The network, which uses actual movie fans in
its on-air programming, is sending a van and camera crew to 30 U.S. cities to interview
fans and to film new on-air spots. Affiliates in each city will receive locally produced
promo spots featuring people from their own communities.
During a summer acquisition campaign, called "Movies
Rule," running from May 22 to Sept. 30, Cinemax will air more than 1,000 films --
more movies than pay services usually run in an entire year. Marketing materials include
direct-mail pieces, counter cards, posters, ad slicks, radio spots and cross-channel TV
Starting June 29, Comedy Central's The Daily Show
initiates a contest to find a "correspondent for a day." Entrants must simply
submit, in 100 words or less, a letter explaining why they'd make a good
correspondent for the show. The winner -- along with a guest -- will receive a seven-day
trip to New York; while there, he or she will be trained as a correspondent and appear on
a segment of The Daily Show. The "Your Daily Show" contest is sponsored
by General Motors Corp.'s Pontiac Grand Am, Outback Steakhouse, Hollywood Video and
To celebrate the second anniversary of The Daily Show,
Comedy Central is running an affiliate/local-ad-sales promotion that will send an MSO
winner and guest to China (china being the accepted gift for a second anniversary). The
grand-prize winner receives a trip for two to Beijing, including hotel accommodations,
local tours, Daily Show merchandise and cash. Also, each participating local
affiliate will give away Daily Show premium merchandise. The Daily Show Second
Anniversary Special will debut Wednesday, July 20, at 11 p.m.
In conjunction with the third season of Dr. Katz:
Professional Therapist, which debuted June 22, Comedy Central's Web site, www.comedycentral.com,
is featuring the "Dr. Katz: Professional Therapist Road to Sanity Trivia
Game." From May 1 through July 23, winners who correctly answer six story-based
trivia questions on the Web site will receive such prizes as T-shirts, mugs and
videotapes. One grand-prize winner, to be selected on or around July 30, will receive a
$500 shopping spree in the Comedy Central Online store. New York-based Ignition Design
created animation and a musical score exclusively for the site.
Country Music Television
CMT recently launched its fifth promotional truck. The
53-foot vehicle will join the rest of the fleet on visits to cable systems, country fairs,
festivals and concerts. The truck will also be used by cable ad-sales departments for
tie-ins with local retailers as part of CMT's ongoing marketing promotions in 1998.
CMT is the official sponsor of Vince Gill's current
national tour, starting June 13 and running through December. A CMT truck will appear at
each of his shows -- more than 70 in all. Cable-operator hospitality and tie-ins will take
place throughout the tour.
Hit Trip, CMT's first series of original
programming, will launch Aug. 1. The hour-long show will feature young hosts traveling to
interesting spots in the United States, and the CMT truck will be there to accompany them
on their adventures.
CMT will run a national sweepstakes from mid-August to
mid-September, with the winners receiving a trip for two to Las Vegas to see Vince Gill
perform at Caesar's Palace and meet him backstage.
C-SPAN will launch a campaign targeted to cable affiliates
in mid-September, tied to its "Book TV on C-SPAN2" weekend block. Kits will
include suggestions on how to promote Book TV to subscribers. Also, C-SPAN will redesign
its school buses with Book TV logos and gather programming from the road to be used in the
C-SPAN will also continue through November its campaign in
a handful of major publications (such as The New York Times and The New Yorker)
for its first historical travel guide and companion video. The book takes travelers and
readers along Alexis de Tocqueville's historic 19th century journey across America,
and it includes historic facts, visitor information and sights to see.
Among the upcoming specials that C-SPAN is promoting is its
July 7 show, A White House Tour, featuring a guided tour of special art and
artifacts in the White House. The network is using radio and print ads to promote the
Don't go in the water! In conjunction with "Shark
Week '98," Aug. 9 to 16, which features five premiere episodes, Discovery is
running the "Spot the Fin and Win" sweepstakes. This contest will give away
eight trips, in eight hours during primetime, to great shark zones of the world, including
Australia, the Bahamas, Belize and Bora Bora. Discovery will promote Shark Week in the
national media, and it will provide local affiliates with an abundance of enticing
For its second-annual summertime "Disney Channel
PremEARS in the Park" promotion, Disney is partnering with local cable operators and
satellite providers for a 10-city road show, running from June 5 to Aug. 8. The event
transforms a local park into a two-night mini-movie festival, where Disney movies will be
shown on a large Mickey Mouse-ear-shaped screen. While at the park, families can partake
in Disney Channel- and Toon Disney-themed activity areas featuring games, prizes and
appearances by Disney characters. PremEARS in the Park will tie in with The Walt Disney
Co.'s "Spirit of Mickey" campaign, which will include screenings of Mickey
Mouse movie shorts and visits by the "Disney Big Rig" vehicle, which will be
displaying a museum of Mickey products. Local affiliates will also tie in to the event
with local spots and by coordinating a canned food-donation program, dubbed the "Can
For the "Laugh Till You're Blue in the Face"
contest, Disney will run print ads in the June and July issues of Family Fun and Disney
Adventures and in the summer issue of Disney Magazine, inviting kids to send in
jokes for a chance to win a Walt Disney World family vacation for four. The winners will
perform their joke on-stage at Disney's "Cool Summer Nights" event, and
they will appear on the network's Joke Time. Coppertone will promote the event
with displays in a variety of stores. Disney will feature information about the contest on
its Web site, Disney.com.
In August, Disney teams up with Smucker's Goober
peanut-butter-and-jelly spread on a contest for kids. Kids who draw pictures of
Disney's PB&J Otter characters enjoying sandwiches have chances to win
$5,000 savings bonds and other prizes. PB&J Otter stickers will be featured on
the lids of Goober jars.
E! Entertainment Television
In July, E! will promote its new series, Fashion
Emergency, by teaming up with Allure magazine's editorial staff to
"help right America's fashion wrong." A special episode of the show will
feature Allure staffers giving advice on how to look your best on the beach, culled
from the magazine's July "Beach Blanket Beauty" section. A full-page ad
promoting the show will appear in Allure's July issue.
In late October, E!'s Talk Soup will travel to
Sydney, Australia, to shoot a week of programming. In celebration of this event, E! is
offering the "Talk Soup Down Under" sweepstakes, the grand prize of which
includes a trip for two to Australia, visits to Talk Soup set locations there,
dinner with the Talk Soup gang and local tours in Sydney. Secondary travel-themed
prizes will be offered to other viewers.
In September, E! will offer the Prime Time Emmy Pre-Show,
during which host Joan Rivers critiques the fashion sense of the stars attending the
popular awards show. Viewers who watch the E! special will get a chance to win a trip to
Los Angeles to attend E!'s third-annual Golden Hanger Awards in December,
which features Rivers and a group of fashion experts reliving the year's high and low
points for Hollywood fashion. Promotional spots will run duringthe Prime Time
Emmy Pre-Show, with information on prizes and how to enter the sweepstakes.
During the month of August, Encore will run a consumer and
affiliate promotion tied in with the hit movie A League of Their Own, about
women's professional baseball during World War II. The sweepstakes offers consumers a
chance to win prop tickets for the 1943 Women's World Series, which were used in the
film, as well as real tickets and a trip to the men's Major League Baseball 1998
ESPN will offer a number of promotions in conjunction with
its multitiered "Bristol University" campaign. For "Bristol
University's Masters Program," which will coincide with the upcoming NFL season,
participating affiliates and local advertisers will use on-air spots to direct consumers
to specific retail outlets where they can take a "Bristol University Entrance
Exam," giving them a chance to win prizes. A grand-prize winner and guest will
receive an all-expenses-paid trip to Bristol University, which will feature discussions
with an ESPN statistician, a tour of the "campus" and a studio visit to view a
telecast and lunch with the staff. The winner will also travel to New York for a studio
visit to watch ABC's NFL Monday Night Football and a taping of sportscaster
Chris Berman's halftime show. Runners-up can win Bristol University hats, sweatshirts
ESPN will also give football fans a chance to attend
"Bristol University Training Camp," which will be held at Disney's Wide
World of Sports. Participating affiliates will also get a chance to attend this football
camp, which will feature clinics, speeches by pro athletes and ESPN talent and dinner at
the ESPN Club in Orlando, Fla. ESPN will offer affiliates a number of incentives, such as
dinner for 10 with a Bristol University "faculty member" for systems that run
the most spots to support the promotion. A random drawing will take place giving
participating local advertisers a chance to win an all-expenses-paid trip for two to the
1999 Pro Bowl in Hawaii.
ESPN is teaming up with Coors Brewing Co. for the
"Coors Light ESPNdence Days" promotion, running from mid-June through the July 4
weekend and offering viewers 21 consecutive days of quality sports programming. In
addition, a Coors Light sweepstakes is offering lucky viewers a chance to win one of 54
ESPN "press passes," which will allow the winner to gain entry to the press box,
locker rooms and field during selected sports events as well as getting a tour of
ESPN's production truck. In support of the promotion, ESPN SportsCenter anchors
Dan Patrick and Stuart Scott will star in a Coors Light ESPNdence Days commercial during
June and July, and they will also be featured in various ad displays. Consumers 21 and
older can enter the sweepstakes through entry forms found inside packs of Coors Light and
Original Coors cans.
Starting in July, ESPN will introduce "Local Bottom
Line" -- a twice-hourly, two-minute local version of its "Bottom
Line" 24-hour daily sports ticker -- which will offer local affiliates a chance to
input local sports-news updates and highlights. In addition to letting cable ops provide
customized news, Local Bottom Linewill allow them to partner with other local
media on promotions and ads within the feature.
ESPN Classic Sports
Classic Sports is running a special affiliate promotion as
part of ESPN's "Bristol University" multitiered campaign. A sweepstakes,
available only to Classic Sports affiliates, will give football fans a chance to
participate in Bristol University's "Filmmaking 101" class. On-air spots
will run directing consumers to retail outlets where they can "register" for the
"class" via entry forms at point-of-purchase displays. Entrants will list their
picks for the greatest moments in football history. The grand-prize winner will receive an
all-expenses-paid trip to New York to create a football highlight film using clips from
the Classic Sports film library. Participating retailers will receive five "Classic
Sports Gear Bags," containing such items as footballs, jerseys of old National
Football League teams and videos of great moments in NFL history.
Food Network -- with the help of renowned chef Emeril
Lagasse, host of cooking show Emeril Live -- recently launched the "Emeril
Five Alarm Firehouse Cook-Off" sweepstakes and "Emeril's Fire Safety
Fund," central components of a long-term programming and community-service effort to
support U.S. firefighters. For the sweepstakes, Food Network is asking firefighters to
submit their favorite firehouse recipes; four finalists, to be chosen in mid-August, will
appear on the hour-long Emeril Five Alarm Firehouse Cook-Off Show, a special
episode of Emeril Live that will air Sept. 7. Viewers will vote for the winning
recipe via a toll-free number, and Emeril will visit the winner's firehouse to cook
up a special meal in person. Affiliates may also enter the sweepstakes by signing up their
local systems to air cross-channel spots and asking viewers to send in recipes and support
their local firehouses. The winning system gets a trip for two to New Orleans to dine at
Emeril's restaurant. Emeril's Family Safety Fund was established to help support
local firehouses through the efforts of the International Association of Fire Chiefs. The
network is asking systems to help raise money for the fund, and it will distribute
promotional materials to local affiliates that wish to do so.
Fox Family Channel
In conjunction with the Aug. 15 launch of the repackaged
Fox Family Channel, the network will begin a wide-ranging, yearlong marketing campaign,
starting with a "teaser" promotion July 15 that will build until the launch
date. The campaign will also include a "Watch and Win" consumer sweepstakes and
a local-market component to help generate local-ad-sales revenue. The sweepstakes will
offer such prizes as a "Getaway" vacation, $100,000 in cash and passes to nine
Busch Gardens theme parks and Sea World in Orlando, Fla. The contest will be promoted on
the Fox broadcast network. Cable ops will be able to sell local sponsorships for the
sweepstakes, and Fox is offering prize incentives for systems that run cross-channel spots
on approved networks. Promotional support will include broadcast and cable-TV ad spots,
radio spots, outdoor media and print ads in national publications.
Fox News Channel
During the second half of 1998, FNC will continue to expand
its "We Report, You Decide" message, adding more national media to its print,
radio and TV ads. The channel's creative also plans to focus more on
Fox Sports Américas
Fox Sports Américas is preparing a Hispanic consumer
promotion with a cable affiliate that includes a trip to Mexico and tickets to a soccer
match in the fall. Runner-up prizes will include soccer jerseys and sports bags stuffed
with premiums. Fox plans to support the contest with print, radio and cross-promotion TV
spots; bus benches; point-of-purchase displays; and a local-media public-relations push.
The network is also planning Hispanic community-based
events with affiliates to celebrate the Sept. 16 Mexican Independence Day festivities,
known as "Fiestas Patrias."
In August, FX will present its "Penn &
Teller's Sin City Spectacular Sweepstakes" to support the launch of Penn
& Teller's new variety show. Grand prizes will include trips to Las Vegas and VIP
tickets to Penn & Teller's Sin City Spectacular.
In September, FX will launch "Beverly Hills 90210
Unzipped," a two-week national-consumer promotion to support its fall launch of Beverly
Hills 90210. The promotion, sponsored by Bristol-Myers Squibb Co., will feature a
chance for viewers to win a grand prize of a "Rock, Shop and Recover" getaway
for two to Beverly Hills, Calif., which will include VIP concert tickets, a shopping spree
on Rodeo Drive and a day at a Beverly Hills spa. Consumers who watch FX's 12-hour
Labor Day 90210 marathon Sept. 7 will be shown an 800 number that will give them
details on how to enter. Other prizes will also be offered, and the event will be
supported by a multitactic ad campaign.
In November, FX will offer "The X-Files Secret
Ballot" consumer promotion to support its second annual "X-Files Viewers
Choice Marathon." The promotion, to be supported by a major ad campaign, will
encourage consumers to vote for their favorite episodes of The X-Files.
Game Show Network
Already kicked off in Atlanta June 20 and culminating in
October, GSN will run its "Coast-to-Coast Search for a Host" promotion. GSN will
search for a game-show host through a series of open-audition events held in conjunction
with local cable operators in eight cities. Participants get a chance to win a $13,000
prize package, in addition to a hosting opportunity on a GSN show. Promotional partners in
the contest include J.C. Penney Co. Inc., the Orlando (Fla.) Visitors Bureau and Outdoor
Products. Eight semifinalists, chosen from each of the participating cities, will fly to
Los Angeles for a series of screen tests, and one will be chosen as a game-show host by a
celebrity panel of judges. The event will be featured as a special on GSN.
The Golf Channel
From June to August, Golf is airing its "Championship
Summer" programming, which features expanded coverage of major Professional Golf
Association and Ladies PGA events such as the U.S. Open, the U.S. Women's Open and
the PGA Championship. Golf will also premiere several golf-related specials and air live
interview and instructional shows. Golf will offer affiliates who sign up for a
"Championship Summer" promotional kit the chance to win new golf clubs, an Izod
prize package or a visit from a Golf on-air personality.
Golf is planning a full plate of marketing promotions in
conjunction with the Oct. 28 debut of Arnold Palmer: Golf's Heart and Soul, an
original two-hour documentary chronicling the life of the legendary golfer.
The History Channel
In September, History will kick off its second-annual
"In Search of History World Sweepstakes," in celebration of all-new
episodes of its nightly In Search of History series. The sweepstakes, designed
specifically for affiliates and their customers, will promote a week of programming
focusing on the dark side of the historic United Kingdom, titled "Bloody Olde
England." Sweepstakes participants will get a chance to win a trip to England, among
other prizes. Promotional elements include a thematic media kit, lobby displays for
affiliates, point-of-sale displays, local-ad-sales support material, tune-in ad slicks,
billstuffers and taggable cross-channel and radio spots.
Home & Garden Television
From Aug. 31 to Sept. 25, HGTV will present the "Great
Fall Fix-Up" promotion. One grand-prize winner will receive a $15,000 cash prize to
remodel any room in their house, as well as a brand new Ford truck. Participating sponsors
include Wilsonart, Serta, Sherwin-Williams and Dap. The promotion will include a major ad
campaign on the local and national level -- radio, cable and broadcast-TV spots; in-store
displays; and ads in newspapers, in magazines and online.
Home Box Office
HBO will run a seasonal acquisition campaign, titled
"It's a Summer Hit Wave," from Aug. 3 to Sept. 9. The campaign will focus
on promoting upcoming hit films, such as In & Out, The Devil's Advocate,
Contact and The Full Monty; and original specials, such as Sinbad's
Summer Jam VII and 70's Soul Music Festival. Promotions will include
direct mail; cross-channel and radio spots; and ad slicks.
From June 5 to Sept. 15, HBO is offering a
consumer-awareness campaign promoting second-audio programming. The campaign seeks to help
affiliates educate Hispanic subscribers about using SAP to receive HBO en Español,
Cinemax Selecciones and Spanish-language versions of other networks.
From Sept. 15 to Oct. 15, for Hispanic Heritage Month, HBO
will run a brand-awareness and acquisition campaign for HBO en Español, featuring direct
mail, radio ads and cross-channel spots, supported by national consumer advertising.
HBO will offer heavy promotional support for several major
original-programming events in the coming months, including: original movies Poodle
Springs (debuts July 25), The Rat Pack (August) and Walter Winchell
(fourth quarter); comedy event Jerry Seinfeld Live: I'm Telling You for the Last
Time (Aug. 9); and a live musical event with Janet Jackson (Oct. 11).
The Independent Film Channel
IFC continues its "Primal Screen" tour of
independent films selected by the IFC Advisory Board, in conjunction with Esquire magazine.
The films include Taxi Driver, The Long Goodbye, Stranger than Paradise and
sex, lies and videotape.
INSP-The Inspirational Network
In the fall, INSP will run a major promotion corresponding
with the debut of its Love Stories of the Holy Land, a new, documentary-style
series. The promotion will tie in with the 50th anniversary of the founding of the state
of Israel. A contest and giveaways will be featured.
The network will continue and expand promotions for its
INSP for Kidz children's-programming block (4 p.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays), which will
include contests; a newsletter with puzzles and games; and new spots featuring Discovery
Jones, a live character who promotes the block on-air and in person. The new Discovery
Jones spots will premiere in the fall, featuring Jones interviewing historical figures
such as Martha Washington.
A new series of contemporary Christian-music programming
will debut this summer. On Aug. 1, INSP will air a live party to promote the premiere of a
new video by the group Point of Grace, and it will also feature a live chat room with the
In October, during Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the
International Channel will present an original production aimed at educating women about
the disease and providing resources and information through culturally sensitive materials
and events. The channel is developing a campaign, incorporating local cable affiliates and
community-based organizations, to gain awareness for the program in national and local
ethnic communities and health organizations and to make this information available to
From July into September, Knowledge TV will run an outdoor
summer media campaign built around the theme line, "Isn't it time television
gave you something back?" The ad will appear in major urban markets on buses,
commuter rail, subway clocks and phone kiosks.
This fall, Knowledge TV's continuing "Teacher and
Technology Scholarships" campaign will incorporate sponsorships for in-market
workshops by the new Cable in the Classroom Institute, in conjunction with nearly every
major MSO. The campaign, which is staff-supported and fully customizable (affiliates can
choose from an array of scholarships that involve teachers appearing online in schools),
is part of Knowledge TV's launch-incentive package, and it has been lauded for
achieving community recognition by the Cable Television Public Affairs Association.
The Learning Channel
For TLC's "Safety Heroes" promotion,
affiliates can team up with the American Red Cross and become heroes in their community.
The nationwide campaign will use the Red Cross' safety expertise and network of more
than 1,300 local chapters to help local cable operators offer vital safety information to
their communities in fun and useful ways. Other elements of the promotion include:
taggable public-service announcements that provide Red Cross safety information; local
sweepstakes for schools to choose a "Safety Hero," with the national winner to
receive a trip to Washington, D.C., including a tour of FBI headquarters and the American
Red Cross Disaster Operations Center; and a National Fire Day (Oct. 7) promotion titled,
"The Great Escape."
In October, Lifetime will present its "Fighting Breast
Cancer: Our Lifetime Commitment" campaign in conjunction with National Breast Cancer
Awareness Month. Local cable affiliates participating in the campaign number 1,400.
Operators will receive kits that will include taggable PSAs, customizable ad slicks,
posters with the campaign logo and Lifetime program guides featuring a panel with facts
about breast cancer. Programming highlights include coverage of the LPGA Tournament of
Champions for Breast Cancer Awareness (Oct. 8 to 11); a film, The Ann Jillian Story;
and a special, Intimate Portrait: Sydney Seaward.
MTV: Music Television
In conjunction with the 1998 MTV Video Music Awards,
Sept. 10 in Los Angeles, MTV is creating a number of promotions to help support all
aspects of cable affiliates' business, including local ad sales, marketing and
customer service. MTV will offer local-ad-sales-exclusive trip promotions in 41 top
markets -- the grand-prize winners get a trip to the Video Music Awards. "VMA
Mobile Music Packs" will also be given out as secondary prizes. For marketing, MTV
will offer a "watch-and-win" sweepstakes featuring a billstuffer that will ask
three questions related to the 1998 MTV Video Music Awards. The sweepstakes will be
supported on-air, and the winner will receive a grand-prize trip to the 1998 European
Music Awards. Customer-service representatives will also be eligible to win Video Music
Awards prizes in a "watch-and-win" contest.
In conjunction with the 1998 MuchMusic Video Awards,
which will air live Sept. 24 at 8 p.m., the network is offering subscribers a sweepstakes,
with the winners and their guests getting a trip to Toronto to attend the awards,
accommodations, limousine transport and $500. The brand-building promotion will take place
from Aug. 3 to 30, and Coca-Cola will be among the sponsors. MuchMusic is offering cable
affiliates sponsorship of the sweepstakes and a wide range of promotional elements,
including taggable displays and ad slicks; press releases; cross-channel and radio spots;
local print ads; and a valuable prize package.
The Nashville Network
On June 20, TNN's Prime Time Country variety
series (which airs Monday through Thursday, at 9 p.m. and 1 a.m.) launched a summer
promotion involving a national search to find country-music talent. For the "Prime
Time Country Road to Nashville Talent Series," the show, in conjunction with
country-radio stations across the United States, will host talent competitions at state
and county fairs. A grand-prize winner will receive $5,000; a trip for two to Nashville,
Tenn.; and a Yamaha guitar, and runners-up will also win prizes. Solo artists and bands of
six members or less are eligible to enter. A total of 24 acts will be chosen from the
quarterfinal round, and four acts will be chosen from the semifinals. The finals will take
place Oct. 8, on Prime Time Country, as part of TNN's "Bright Lights, Big
Cities" theme week. Sponsors of the promotion include Maalox, Tractor Supply Co. and
From July 1 to Aug. 31, TNN will run its "Second
Annual Country Songwriting Contest" -- a national contest that will give an amateur
songwriter a chance to have his or her song recorded at Nashville's famed Emerald
Sound Studios. Grammy-winning singer-songwriter Delbert McClinton will be among the judges
choosing the winner, and songwriter-producer Robert Ellis Orrall will record the winning
song. In addition to a trip for two to Nashville and the recording, the grand-prize winner
will win $5,000; a Yamaha piano, recorder, and acoustic guitar with case; and an
appearance on Prime Time Country. Entrants can submit one or two songs for a fee,
and the submissions will be evaluated by music-industry pros. A total of 50 finalists will
be selected to partake in the final round.
In late summer, Nick will introduce the
"Nickel-O-Zone," a one-hour block of original programming slated to run Sundays
through Fridays, from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. New shows to run during the block include: The
Wild Thornberrys, an animated series; Cousin Skeeter, a live-action comedy; and
Animorphs, a live-action adventure. The block will be hosted by a new animated
character, "O," who will help to launch the block by inviting kids to solve
riddles and word games by holding their red-reveal "O-Scope" devices up to the
TV screen. As part of Nick's marketing push, O-Scopes will be made available on
packages of certain Kraft-brand products, as well as in participating Blockbuster Video
stores. A number of other products tied in to the Nickel-O-Zone programs will be available
from Kraft, and Burger King will also offer "Kids Meals" featuring Nickel-O-Zone
Nick and Campbell Soup Co. are teaming up to tie in
Campbell's soups with popular Nick-owned properties Rugrats and Blue's
Clues in a major kids'-marketing initiative. Campbell will debut "Rugrats
Pasta with Chicken and Broth" soup, featuring pasta shaped like Rugrats characters.
Beginning in August, Blue, the animated canine star of Blue's Clues, will be
featured on the front label of cans of Campbell's "Alphabet Soup," while
interactive Blue's Clues games using invisible ink will be found under the
label. Campbell is also sponsoring the premiere issue of Blue's Clues magazine,
which will be available free-of-charge with three proofs of purchase from Campbell's
To kick off Breast Cancer Awareness Month this October, QVC
is again presenting "FFANY Shoes on Sale," the Fashion Footwear Association of
New York's fifth-annual fund-raiser to benefit breast-cancer research and education.
The benefit will air live from The Pierre in New York, Oct. 2 from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m., and
it will feature shoes from the world's top designers offered at one-half of their
retail price. A variety of designers, celebrities and dignitaries are expected to
participate in the event. More than 70,000 pairs of designer and brand-name shoes are
donated by members of FFANY.
In early fall, iQVC, QVC's interactive unit, will
unveil a collaborative online-retailing effort, dubbed "TheSquare@iQVC," which
will partner iQVC with top Internet retailers barnesandnoble.com, N2K's Music
Boulevard, NetGrocer and Cyberian Outpost Inc. TheSquare@iQVC will be highlighted on
iQVC's home page (www.iqvc.com), and it will enhance iQVC's product
selection with items from the other popular online catalogs.
In September and October, Romance Classics will premiere
"The Crush" -- an event featuring original programming, with an emphasis on
wines and wine-harvest celebrations. The network will host an affiliate trip to the Napa
region of California, as well as a special wine gift-basket mailing. Also as part of The
Crush, in October, Romance will premiere a one-hour special, Country Inn
Magazine's Top 5 Country Inns, which it will promote in magazines, and it will
offer affiliate trips to participating inns and a special wine extravaganza sweepstakes
Romance Classics has teamed up with Bride's
Magazine in sponsoring "The Big Toss" promotion. Having already started June
4 and continuing through the summer, Romance will travel to 12 U.S. cities to throw out a
bouquet, with the catcher to receive a wedding dowry valued at more than $25,000. More
than 25 advertisers have signed on as sponsors for The Big Toss, each contributing to the
dowry such prizes as an all-expenses-paid honeymoon, china, linens, jewelry, crystal and
housewares. The network is also running a national sweepstakes, with the winners to
receive the dowry, as well as his-and-hers Ford Escort ZX2s. The Big Toss bouquet will be
thrown by local celebrities and dignitaries in each of the 12 major markets. Special
programming related to the promotion will air on the network, and Bride's will
promote the event heavily in its June/July issue.
Starting Tuesday, Sept. 1, Sci-Fi will begin airing
digitally remastered versions of the 80 original Star Trek episodes. The episodes
-- which have been color-corrected, and which feature footage that had been edited out
since the shows originally aired in the 1960s -- will air weeknights, 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.
(EST). To help local cable ops take advantage of the series, Sci-Fi's
affiliate-marketing and national-consumer-promotion departments are launching a number of
campaigns. On Aug. 1, Sci-Fi will launch its four-week "TrekFest '98"
consumer promotion. Cable ops in 30 markets will be provided with a grand-prize trip to
"The Star Trek Experience" in Las Vegas, as well as Star Trek-inspired
electronic devices and Home Shopping Network gift certificates. Affiliates will be
provided with a wide array of promotional opportunities and materials, such as taggable
radio and cross-channel spots, billstuffers, a "Starfleet Passport Savings Book"
and employee incentive suggestions. On Wednesday, Sept. 16, Sci-Fi will partner with HSN
Inc. on the Star Trek Collectibles Show, offering Sci-Fi and Star Trek-related
merchandise live on HSN. Also in September, Sci-Fi and Best Western International hotels
will join to offer a Star Trek sweepstakes available to Best Western guests in
2,180 U.S. locations. The sweepstakes will be promoted on-air, online and in the hotels.
In October, Best Buy Co. will run a Star Trek sweepstakes that will be promoted in
its 270 stores through point-of-purchase displays and on monitors; Best Buy will also
promote the contest on-air, online and in newspaper circulars.
Having begun May 27 and running for four months, Showtime
will display the world's longest advertisement on New York's Port Authority Bus
Terminal building. The 10,350-square-foot, block-long ad -- part of Showtime's
"No Limits" brand campaign -- wraps around a corner of the building, located on
Eighth Avenue between 41st and 42nd Streets.
The "Speedvision National Van Tour," which
launched this spring, will run through the end of the year, visiting major auto- and
motorcycle-racing events in an effort to heighten brand awareness. At each stop of the
tour -- 20 markets and 24 events in all -- the van is converted into an elaborate stage,
with audio and video systems, where visitors can win prizes and get autographs from their
favorite drivers. Fans will also get the chance to win a 1998 Ducati Monster 750
The "Your Ticket to the Starz!" promotion,
running from Sept. 15 to Oct. 31, will feature a free preview of the network Sept. 25 to
27. During the preview, customers will get a chance to win a three-night, four-day trip
for two to either Aspen, Colo., or Orlando, Fla. Employees from local affiliates that meet
sales goals will be entered into a drawing with a chance to win a similar trip.
Marketing and promotional campaigns during the third and
fourth quarters of 1998 include:
A total of 800 Blockbuster Video stores will feature a
"Sundance Channel Recommends" section, stocked with independent films on video
that Sundance endorses and accompanied by signage promoting the channel.
Sundance will offer theatrical sponsorships of various
independent films, including local-screening programs and contests. Pi, a 1998
Sundance Film Festival award-winner, will be screened in 15 markets, and one filmmaker
will get the chance to have their work featured on the channel by entering their feature
or short film in a contest sponsored by the network and Artisan Entertainment.
The network will award masters-level film students in key
markets the opportunity to attend "The Sundance Institute's Annual
Producer's Conference" -- a workshop designed to educate producers about their
craft, industry trends and jobs.
TBS will team up with Ernest & Julio Gallo Vineyards
and Cooking Light magazine to host the inaugural "Dinner & a Movie Super
Chef Cook-Off." The companies will select one chef in each of 10 markets to develop a
unique main-course recipe and to compete against each other in a VIP tasting event at the
Supper Club in Manhattan Nov. 4, for the title of "Dinner & a Movie Super
Also, TBS and sister company Warner Home Video are teaming
up with Shake 'N Bake to produce a Dinner & a Movie home-video series featuring
four Warner Bros. comedies. The videos will go on sale Sept. 29. The network hopes to
boost viewer awareness of the Friday-night series with off-channel support, on-product
advertising and specially designed displays in video and mass-merchandising stores.
The Travel Channel
Travel has established a partnership with the U.S.
Conference of Mayors that gives operators the chance to promote tourism in their
communities. Travel intends to undertake a number of marketing tie-ins that will make its
affiliates a part of local-tourism initiatives. Among the elements of the campaign: Mayors
can promote their cities on-air in interstitial segments or local weekend travel updates
co-branded for affiliates; PSAs; and promotion and public-relations opportunities with
local mayors' offices to support affiliates' involvement in local schools.
Turner Classic Movies
TCM and Turner Learning Inc. are offering schools a second
installment of their educational-extension program, "TCM by the Book: Stage to
Screen." Stage to Screen will offer eight classic-film titles based on renowned stage
plays in a commercial-free, cost-free program that will allow teachers to tape and use
these films in the classroom. TCM will also offer schools free accompanying curriculum
materials for use in the classroom. In October, TCM will premiere the films in an on-air
programming block for educators to record and use free-of-charge for up to one year from
the airdate. TCM will also re-air the first TCM by the Book installment, "Novel to
Film," during the 1998-99 school year.
Turner Network Television
TNT is partnering with MCI Communications Corp. and Subaru
for the "Babylon 5 Challenge Sweepstakes." Throughout the summer, when
viewers watch original episodes of Babylon 5 on TNT, they'll be given the
chance to answer trivia questions based on the science-fiction series. Contestants can
enter by sending their answers on a postcard to TNT or through the network's Babylon
5 Web site. The grand prize is a weekend for four at "Space Camp," while
runners-up can win a Sony home-entertainment center and Babylon 5 prize packs.
TNT is a national sponsor of "The Wall That
Heals," a traveling 248-foot replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall in
Washington, D.C. This partnership has extended to TNT's cable operators, which
participate on the local level to help bring The Wall That Heals to their cities.
On July 24, USA -- along with title-sponsor Fruitopia fruit
beverage -- will launch the 1998 "USA High Road Trip," bringing its USA
High series on a promotional tour of 11 fairs and festivals through Sept. 27. The tour
will feature a main stage and prize-winning opportunities for lucky teens, as well as
pavilions for such sponsors as Adidas, Aiwa, Hershey's and Frito-Lay's Doritos,
at which interactive games and activities are planned. The main stage will host a national
talent search/screen test, and participating teens will be entered into a national
sweepstakes to win a walk-on part on USA High -- including airfare for two to Los
Angeles, accommodations and cash. USA will promote the Road Trip via radio, print,
national and local cable and publicity at an extensive Web-site area. Local radio and
cable will support the tour in each of the 11 market stops.
In honor of the debut of its new original series, Sins
of the City, July 19 at 10 p.m., USA is running a sweepstakes, sponsored by Herbal
Essences, which will run through Aug. 17. The grand prize is a trip for two to South Beach
(Miami Beach, Fla.) -- where the series is set -- including airfare, accommodations for
seven days/six nights, cash and a year's supply of Herbal Essences shampoo.
VH1 wants to turn your home into a "Love Shack."
This summer, the network is running its third "Backyard BBQ Sweepstakes,"
offering a lucky winner a Labor Day barbecue and concert held at their home. From July 27
to Aug. 15, viewers can enter the contest by phoning or writing VH1 during the
network's "Rock Across America" campaign. The event will take place Sept.
7, and the band will be -- you guessed it -- the B-52s.
VH1 will be heavily promoting a number of annual events,
including the Viewers Vote award show (July 25); the VH1 Fashion Awards
(Oct. 27); VH1's Fairway to Heaven rock 'n' roll golf tournament;
and VH1 Artist of the Year programming (Dec. 12 to 13).
The Weather Channel
TWC, in partnership with the American Red Cross, is
continuing its "Project SafeSide" weather-preparedness campaign, now in its
second year. The program provides resources and guidelines for cable companies to offer
important safety information to their communities. TWC will supply affiliates with
brochures, PSAs, educational videos and displays. Arrangements can also be made for
appearances by TWC and Red Cross safety experts to educate citizens on safeguarding
themselves against injury or property loss in the case of dangerous weather situations.
From August through December, TWC is offering an
educational project called "Look Up! Setting a Course for Sky Exploration," to
help teach sky awareness. Cable affiliates will be able to introduce schools to the
program, which includes a resource guide featuring lesson plans and activities; a cloud
chart; and a related episode of The Weather Classroom. Look Up has been added to
Polaroid's education program and workshop curriculum library, and the company will
train teachers to use instant photography to study the sky.