Thanksgiving Is 'Tool' Time For DIY

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For Thanksgiving weekend, DIY Network is counting on do-it-yourself viewers to gorge themselves on a four-day marathon of Cool Tools as it tries to promote viewership of season three of the series.

Because of the challenging economy, network officials believe consumers this holiday season will be focusing on practical, pragmatic gifts, noted DIY general manager Kathleen Finch.

The series' name is the top search term on the network's Web site, she added. “So we knew we wanted to do a stunt [centered on the show]. With this economy, people are spending to upgrade the home they're in now. If there was ever a time for this show, it's now.”

The show, hosted by “tool junkie” Chris Grundy, will be telecast from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. each day during the long weekend. Primetime programming will include specials such as Cool Tools: Holiday Blowout on Thanksgiving, Nov. 27, at 8 p.m. ET.; and Cool Tools: The 25 Coolest on Nov. 28, at 8 p.m.

The items featured in the latter special were chosen based on their popularity as tools searched for on DIY's Web site, Finch said.

DIY will promote the stunt with strategies such as an off-channel tune-in spot, to be run across Time Warner Cable systems and placed on channels such as Comedy Central, Discovery Channel and ESPN in programs that index heavily for adults 25 to 54.

On Comcast systems, a feature will run on the interactive program guide, as well as daily banner ads. A feature on the IPG will also allow consumers to set a tune-in reminder or record the show during its regular 8 p.m. nightly timeslot.

DIY will also partner with influential bloggers to create custom video content with Grundy and to create “engaging targeted messages that reflect each blogger's point of view.”

Viewers will have an opportunity to interact with the show via a contest for amateur inventors. DIY will solicit videos from subscribers who think they have an idea for a saleable tool. DIY will give the winner $10,000 to get the item manufactured and the inventor will star in a future, one-hour episode. Finch said the network has yet to work out the financial details of that prize, such as who will retain the rights to the tool.

“Given the traffic to the Cool Tools page, [the submission level] should be great,” Finch said.

More passive fans can participate in a conventional sweepstakes, the Cool Tools Holiday Blitz Giveaway, to win $15,000. That sweeps will run through Dec. 29.

“We're putting a lot behind this. We have a lot of faith in this show,” Finch said.

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