In what Yahoo! Inc. (www.yahoo.com) billed
as the largest dollar commitment USA Network has made to any Internet company,
the general-entertainment service will promote more than a half-dozen primetime
shows across the Web portal's various entertainment pages.
The campaign begins this week with an effort backing Nashville Star, a
USA reality entry that bows March 8. The series gives a country-music twist to
the American Idol: Search for a Superstar formula.
USA has bought space across Yahoo!'s network of Web sites and online
services, including its home page; Yahoo! Messenger; its TV, entertainment and
other sites; Yahoo! Chat; and the Yahoo! search engine.
"It is a seven-figure budget," USA senior vice president of marketing Sarah
Beatty said. The idea is to "keep the [ratings] momentum going for our original
product," which began last summer with the series debuts of Monk and
The Dead Zone, she added.
The Yahoo! buys extend into September.
Other programs to be heralded on Yahoo! include original movie Rudy: The
Rudy Giuliani Story (due March 30); four-hour miniseries Helen of
Troy (April 20 through 21); the American Film Institute's AFI Lifetime
Achievement Award special, honoring Robert De Niro (June 24); Monk's
second season, slated to premiere in late June; and the September bow of
six-hour miniseries Traffic.
According to Beatty and Yahoo! TV senior director Doug Hirsch, USA has bought
a variety of high-impact Yahoo! ad formats, including banners, buttons and
so-called modules and mantles, or rectangular ad frames.
The programmer will also sponsor interactive polls and employ a range of
techniques "from pinpoint to blast marketing," as well as rich media and video
clips from upcoming shows.
USA will target its messages to users of specific Yahoo! users.
Strategies will home in on the New York DMA and on Yahoo's government and
politics groups for Rudy; country-music chat rooms and groups for
Nashville Star;mystery aficionados for Monk; and fans of
action/adventure, drama and romance, as well as entertainment-group members, for
Helen of Troy.