Oxygen Exploits 'Bad Girls’

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Will Bad Girls do well? Oxygen executives hope so, as they have designed ad-sales and e-tailing efforts to leverage the show’s popularity.

This will mark the first affiliate-sales promotion behind the series, which debuts its third season on Dec. 2. The reality show, from Bunim-Murray Productions of The Real World fame, places seven women with bad attitudes in a Los Angeles mansion to see if the participants can figure out which poor personality traits are costing them jobs and relationships. The show is among Oxygen’s most popular: Last February, it became the first series on the channel to draw more than 1 million viewers for an episode.

“On the show, it’s always a party with these girls. The promotion riffs off of that,” said NBC Universal Cable Networks vice president of affiliate marketing Paula Doyle.

Oxygen has created two tiers of participation in order to attract both large and midsize cable operators. The channel hopes to draw 40 affiliates in to promote the season debut of the series by running on-air tune-in spots and using optional online advertising at their Web sites.

The booty for participating systems is a Bad Girls-branded platinum party pack. The value of the pack will vary by the size of the participating system: large market systems will get a package valued at $3,000, while smaller systems will get one worth $1,000. In the package are a Nintendo Wii and a copy of the video game Dance Dance Revolution, a Zappos.com shopping spree and merchandise from designers including Marc Jacobs, Juicy Couture, Dolce & Gabbana, L.A.M.B. and Burberry.

The pack will also include new Bad Girls-branded products also being sold as part of another new network initiative. Oxygen has partnered with Delivery Agent to market merchandise linked to the show. The vendor partners with NBCU-owned Bravo in selling items from its hit shows such as Project Runway and Top Chef via the Web.

Two lines of merchandise will be available for purchase online: General Oxygen merchandise with “oxygenated” phrases such as “Over It” and “Obsessed,” and Bad Girls items, including yoga pants and T-shirts, “Devil Dust” body glitter and ice trays that make jewel-shaped cubes. In launching the electronic-commerce effort, general manager Jason Klarman said the average Oxygen viewer loves to shop and considers it entertainment. The products offered by the network online are designed to be “beyond the typical TV-based fan gear” and affordably priced.

Doyle said the network had signed 22 participants for the local ad-sales promotion by last week. Oxygen promised to deliver the prize packs to operators before Christmas if they signed up by an early deadline two weeks ago, and 22 operators did so, including systems in Chicago; San Francisco; Atlanta; Houston; Phoenix; Hartford, Conn.; Wichita, Kan., and New Orleans and Baton Rouge, La.

Systems are giving the packs to major advertisers or using them as internal customer-service incentives, Doyle said.

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