Network will promote launch by taking over every available form of advertising media in 35 major shopping malls across the U.S.
Starting in August, The CW’s signature lime-green color will become a fixture in dozens of major shopping malls, as the network’s ads take over banners, posters and movie screens. Stars from CW shows will also travel around malls hosting promotions.
It’s all part of what CW president Dawn Ostroff called a “mall domination tour,” in describing the planned month-long effort to critics gathered in Pasadena, according to a story in today’s Wall Street Journal.
As part of the promotion, The CW will set up “CW Lounges” where shoppers can use computers to make their own 15-second promos for the network. It will also hold a voting competition on its web site to determine the best viewer-created spots, which will then air on the network.
The promo competition, dubbed “Famous for 15,” is designed to let core viewers influence what’s on the air at CW, Ostroff said.
Although The CW secured less advertising revenue in the upfront market than one of its predecessors, The WB, brought in last year, Ostroff said response has been strong to the “content wraps” the network is creating to boost the impact of commercials. The wraps are sponsored vignettes that will air instead of commercials on certain nights and will tell stories revolving around products. They will also air in segments throughout an evening, prompting viewers to stay tuned.
The network’s promotional push is designed to help viewers find some of their favorite shows that used to run on UPN or The WB, said Rick Haskins, executive vice president of marketeing and brand strategy for the network. Shows such as returning reality hit, “America’s Top Model,” for example, will air on a different channel in 60 percent of the U.S. Host Tyra Banks has agreed to pose for a rare billboard campaign to relaunch her series, he said.
One company hoping mall domination and other promotional efforts pay off is Tribune Broadcasting, which has 14 CW affiliates and forms the backbone of the network’s station lineup. Tribune executives, under pressure to spin off the station group to bolster a sagging share price, have privately argued that a decision about a spin-off should not take place until after the CW launch.