Weather to Affils: Here Comes The Sun

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The Weather Channel's second annual "Rays Awareness" campaign for sun-safety education will have an affiliate tint this summer.

That's according to network vice president of strategic marketing and communications Kiera Hynninen, who has been raising awareness about that cause-related marketing initiative in recent weeks.

TWC will line up cancer-screening events in conjunction with affiliates across the country, and will distribute informative brochures on sun safety at various retail locations throughout the summer season.

These brochures will be given out at affiliate-sponsored community events, as well as drug stores and other retail outlets that make sense, she noted.

During May, the network will be running three sun-safety spots that feature on-air meteorologist Paul Goodloe as the campaign's spokesman.

These spots — which urge viewers to be wary of overexposure to the sun's rays — will open with the line, "Don't get burned by too much of a good thing."

They'll run hourly throughout Memorial Day weekend and, they'll be integrated with the network's daily forecasts through Labor Day weekend, Hynninen said.

Cross-channel promotion spots will be made available to participating affiliates.

In addition, the network will again incorporate its ultraviolet index into its on-air and online content.

Among affiliates set to participate in the 2002 "Rays Awareness" push, Hynninen said, are: Charter Communications Inc. in St. Louis; Comcast Corp. in Philadelphia; Cox Communications Inc. in Atlanta and Las Vegas; and Time Warner Cable in Charlotte, N.C.

Direct-broadcast-satellite affiliate DirecTV Inc. will also take part, she added.

The programmer has also developed a curriculum guide for teachers, to be distributed early this month so instructors can prepare lesson plans, Hynninen said.

The network also plans to promote "Rays Awareness" to cable affiliates who visit its National Show booth by offering free skin tests by dermatologists.

Hynninen added that TWC has talked with cable operators about possible local ad-sales angles for next year's effort.

But the network doesn't want to get burned from making Rays Awareness "too commercial," she said. If the promotion is perceived as "just a way to make money, consumers will be turned off by it," Hynninen noted.

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