Letterman Helps Rehab Leno
Rehabbing Leno has to be one of the trickiest job in marketing and PR right now. And one of the biggest guessing games, in our news room anyway, is how the heck NBC will sell audiences the message that, “Leno’s no longer on at ten, back to 11.35pm.”We almost choked on a Dr. Pepper when we saw him show up in a promo for Letterman in the midst of CBS’ Super Bowl. The CBS ad has Letterman, Oprah Winfrey and Leno all together on a sofa eating potato chips bemoaning the worst SuperBowl party ever. See the spot here.
While the promo no doubt gave viewers a giggle, it’s hard to see why Leno agreed to it. I view it as a booster for Letterman, given Leno’s self deprecating humor. But as my friend observed, when you’re down the only way to go is up.
Also interesting to note is that it’s Oprah second attempt to use her popularity to try to help the NBC comedian. Remember she showed up for the awkward remote interview involving Jerry Seinfeld on the first night of Leno’s primetime show back in September.
CBS sent a press statement around with the promo spot the minute it aired on the game. Watching online, the Letterman promo came with two separate pieces of video attached; one for Southern Comfort and another for Tide. Ads sold against promos? Now that will make Leslie Moonves happy. As for Leno’s boss, Jeff Zucker we’ll have to wait until after the Olympics to gauge the effectiveness of CBS’s helping hand.