New York -- USA Network and Home Box Office are pumping up
the volume -- and their marketing budgets -- to promote their latest high-profile original
USA and Hallmark Entertainment are spending more than $5
million to promote "AT&T Presents Moby Dick," which will air March 15
and 16, and HBO disclosed that it will spend approximately $8 million to market 12-hour
miniseries From the Earth to the Moon, which will run six consecutive Sundays
beginning April 5.
Andy Besch, senior vice president of marketing at USA, said
the Moby Dick promotion was easily the single largest programming and marketing
event in the network's history. The new, $20 million version of the Herman Melville
classic, starring Patrick Stewart and Gregory Peck, is being jointly marketed and promoted
with lead sponsor AT&T Corp., Besch said, and additional participating sponsors
include U.S. Satellite Broadcasting, General Motors Corp., Johnson & Johnson, Gillette
Co., American Home Products and LensCrafters.
Besch said the network is targeting adults aged 25 to 54
with a massive campaign that includes full-page ads in publications such as TV Guide,
Entertainment Weekly and The New York Times; cross-channel spots on cable
networks in the top 10 markets; spot radio; a 60-second trailer in 9,000 movie theaters; a
giant picture of Captain Ahab strapped to the great white whale, painted on buses in New
York and Los Angeles; spots on syndicated Star Trek shows; a new paperback edition
of Moby Dick promoting the movie; and a national sweepstakes with entry forms
available in bookstore chains offering as the grand prize a trip to Norway for a whaling
In addition, USA is providing cable systems with "Moby
Dick Moments" spots for local advertiser sponsorship, describing behind-the-scenes
information about the film.
Besch said that while the campaign was designed to attract
viewership to the movie, it was also "an opportunity to bring new people to the
network," particularly "a more upscale" audience.
HBO's campaign for From the Earth to the Moon,
which cost $65 million to produce, will include spots on broadcast networks and movie
theaters; regional screenings coordinated by cable operators; and a White House event.