TCM Draws on Oscar Star Power


Turner Classic Movies is kicking off year six of its
monthlong "31 Days of Oscar" promotion, designed to highlight the network's
library of Oscar-winning and Oscar-nominated films.

Since its inception, 31 Days of Oscar has been the
highest-profile event TCM does each year, vice president of marketing Katherine Evans
said, adding, "It's the manifestation of the quality and quantity of movies we

Although Evans wouldn't give an exact budget for the
campaign, she noted that it was in the ballpark of $1 million, and it was a little higher
than what had been spent in previous years.

In support of the promotion, 94 cable systems across the
country are delivering millions of customized direct-mail pieces with the headline,
"360 reasons why March is a month of cable you don't want to miss." The
flyer promotes such classics as Gone with the Wind, A Streetcar Named Desire,
Citizen Kane
and To Kill a Mockingbird.

AT&T Broadband & Internet Services is promoting the
TCM campaign with special cross-channel spots, plus a one-third-page ad in its monthly AT&T
newsletter, which reaches more than 10 million subscribers.

TCM is a silver sponsor of AT&T Connection in
March, AT&T Broadband senior vice president of marketing Doug Seserman said. The
sponsorship gives TCM access to other customer touch points throughout the month, such as
bill messaging, envelope advertising and on-hold messages.

Seserman said high-profile networks like TCM help to drive
customers to digital. "TCM is really one of the signature networks of our digital
programming," he added.

He called the TCM promotion "strictly a digital
upgrade" and retention campaign, rather than a promotion to attract nonsubscribers to
digital. "The acquisition campaigns for digital are not network-specific
driven," he said. "The message is more: more pay-per-view, more plexes, more

Barnes & Noble Inc. has signed up as TCM's first
retail partner for the Oscar-themed campaign. The chain will give away free copies of a
30-page TCM viewer's guide at its 565 stores nationwide in exchange for on-air spots
from TCM promoting the guide's availability. The chain will also promote a 20 percent
discount on DVDs associated with 31 Days of Oscar.

DirecTV Inc. also plans to support the campaign, Evans
said, using TCM as the centerpiece of a half-hour Inside DirecTV show that runs on
a promotional channel. TCM host Robert Osborne filmed the segment at Turner Studios in

Several regional consumer-electronics retailers --
including American Appliance, HH Gregg, Magnolia Hi-Fi, Sound Advice Inc. and United Audio
-- will offer $50 gift certificates and two TCM compact discs to new DirecTV customers
during the campaign. Retailers will promote the offer in newspaper circulars.

TCM plans to support the monthly campaign with national
media buys in top consumer entertainment publications, including Entertainment Weekly,
Premiere magazine, Vanity Fair, People, The New York Times
and the Los Angeles Times Magazine. This year's campaign also
includes radio and Web components.

Evans said the network typically devotes at least six
months to planning its Oscar promotion, "and that's never enough time." She
added, "31 Days of Oscar is something we never stop thinking about. As soon as this
is over, we'll do a postmortem and start working on the next year."