New Shows Get Cross-Platform Promo Treatment

'Arsenio,' 'Bethenny,' 'Latifah' tee up fall launches using Web, social media

Gonee are the days when you
could figure out how to promote a
new TV show in seconds—meaning,
by cutting spots lasting 10, 15, 20 and
30 seconds. Today, TV marketers’ efforts must
by necessity cover a range of platforms, from
social media to diginets to mobile offerings.

As syndicators prepare to launch their new fall
shows—from Sony Pictures Television’s (SPT)
Queen Latifah to Warner Bros.’ Bethenny to CBS
Television Distribution’s (CTD) The Arsenio Hall
—they are taking their efforts far beyond
the traditional TV promo. However, they still
are creating those too, of course.

Veteran shows such as SPT’s Dr. Oz and Debmar-
Mercury’s Wendy Williams, both renewed
through 2016-17, also are taking advantage of
new promotional platforms, creating apps and
viral videos. These were popular subjects as
syndicators met with stations at the PromaxBDA
Station Summit in Las Vegas June 24-27 to
present their fall promo strategies.

Bethenny, starring Bethenny Frankel, aired last
summer in a successful test on six Fox-owned
stations. The show will premiere in national syndication
on Sept. 9. Leading up to that, Warner
Bros. is making a 30-minute preview show—
highlighting popular segments from last summer’s
test—available to all of its affiliates, which
they can air any time through July and August,
says Blake Bryant, senior VP of marketing for
Warner Bros.’ Telepictures division.

Frankel, who boasts 1.2 million Twitter followers
and 850,000 Facebook fans, is headed
out on a national media tour this summer,
where she’ll meet station executives and fans
in local markets. During that tour, Warner
Bros. will also conduct a contest for the show’s
biggest fans. The winners, who Warner Bros.
calls “brand ambassadors,” will be invited to
be in the audience in New York.

Frankel is expected to announce the tour during
a July 9 appearance on Wendy Williams. The
two talk stars will appear together in spots that
will be available to stations that run both shows.
Meantime, Warner Bros. has already delivered
a series of spots to affiliates, set to the beat of
Bethenny’s theme song, “Calling All My Girls.”

Wendy Williams is experiencing a growth spurt,
and Debmar-Mercury is capitalizing on that by
keeping the show in production through July
26. Once the show finally wraps for the summer,
Debmar is ready with a promo campaign featuring
a two-minute music video set to Williams’
signature song, “Feel It.” In the promo, a group of
dancers perform in Central Park, with Williams
popping up in the middle and joining the party.

The entire two-minute video can play on TV
stations’ websites or on YouTube, while Debmar
also is cutting it down into smaller promos, says
Adam Lewis, Debmar-Mercury VP of marketing.

Getting Everybody Buzzing

SPT also is promoting two launches this fall:
Queen Latifah as well as off-network sitcom
Community, which has 84 episodes set to air
on TV stations and on Comedy Central; reruns
of the series already appear on Hulu.

For Latifah’s promo campaign, Sony is using
the tagline “Cue the …,” with “cue” serving as a
play on Q for Queen, and then adding various
words to the end of the phrase, such as fun,
heart and music. The overall promise of the
show is that it’s going to be fun, says Sheraton
Kalouria, SPT chief marketing officer.

SPT’s promos are designed to showcase Latifah,
who is a “friendly, relatable, warm, person,”
says Kalouria. Latifah will premiere Sept. 16.

SPT is also dedicating some energy to Dr. Oz,
which is heading into its fifth season. This summer,
SPT will air a promo campaign around Oz
titled “Everybody’s Buzzing,” focusing on the
show’s social media activity. SPT this fall will
launch a Dr. Oz app for iPad and iPhone that
will serve as a companion product to the show.
“Engaging with Dr. Oz is something that you
can do to have a better life,” says Kalouria.

NBCUniversal’s summer promo goal is to
keep up the momentum for Steve Harvey, last
season’s breakout syndie rookie.

“We are really excited about the brand-new
promo campaign that we shot in Chicago,
both on-set and out of the studio around the
city,” says Donna Mills, NBCUniversal Domestic
Television Distribution senior VP of marketing.
“The spots are high-energy and highlight
Steve’s relatable and funny personality.”

Meanwhile, CTD is prepping the next phase
of its promotional campaign for Arsenio Hall.
The syndicator got a big head start last December
when it began airing a long promo
called “The Woof Man.”

“That’s the earliest we’ve ever gone out, and
I’m sure we took everyone by surprise,” says
Mike Mischler, CTD executive VP of marketing.

Coming up next, CTD will start airing spots
intended to reintroduce Hall to viewers. Adds
Mischler: “We’ve got to get everyone who
knew him before to watch him again.”

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