New York—USA Network transplanted Burn Notice’s Miami beach setting to Times Square for a promotional event in support of the second-season premiere of the original series.
USA celebrated the July 10 return of Burn Notice, starring Jeffrey Donovan and Gabrielle Anwar, by constructing a 50-ton sand castle on Military Island in the Time Square district. Check out the festivities in this online photo gallery.
For the marketing stunt, the network teamed with the Michael Allen Group, which dedicated 12 hours to this masterpiece, created from 50 tons of sand and 400 gallons of water by four sand sculptors. Four striking models also did their thing, posing on the completed structure.
The event, attended by USA and Sci Fi president Bonnie Hammer and executive vice president, marketing and brand strategy Chris McCumber, also featured a roller-blading street team handing out Frisbees, lip balm and sunscreen to pedestrians. Broadway actors on their own roller skates performed “Disco Inferno,” with newly constructed lyrics for Burn Notice.
The network also had peddle pushers giving out free ice pops with branded napkins, sunbathing models sporting Burn Notice swimsuits, and customized ice cream trucks, showing a billboard for the premiere, dispensing free ice cream cones.
“It's great! A lot of broadcast reporters came by to cover this event,” said Michael Allen vice president Jessica Murphy. “Pedestrians stopped by to admire the sculpture, and enjoy the giveaways. It was really special, a key part from the show. It really makes a statement.”
USA officials said the network also allocated funds for other marketing events behind the show, showcasing the slogan, “Sun, Surf and Espionage” at beaches in New York, New Jersey, Chicago and Los Angeles. The “characters” channel also hosted volleyball tournaments and handed out goodie bags of Burn Notice towels, sunglasses and Frisbees.
"There is a lot of competition during the summer. You got to get the buzz going, get people out there, to really notice the show,” said McCumber. “We have a viral piece on Facebook for each of our original series shows, and we have created plenty of giveaways, and hosted events to get people involved in the show.”