TLC Rides Express Train to Summer

Network partners with Amtrak, Zappos, others to promote full slate of summer programming

TLC is rolling out everything from trains to
flip-flops as part of its campaign promoting
summer programming. The network has
formed several partnerships to supplement
its media spending to support a summer
schedule of nine returning series, 11 new
series and 19 specials. Partners run from
Amtrak to Zappos.

“As we kicked off the campaign, we wanted
to jump start it with a media push,” says Tom
Carr, senior VP of marketing at TLC. “But then
what we’re trying to do is use these partnerships
as a way for us to extend our message
Memorial Day through Labor Day.”

Next month’s promotion combines choochoo
trains with cupcakes as the network
wraps Amtrak cars in the Eastern Corridor
with images from Cake Boss. Recipes from TLC
will be distributed in Amtrak stations. Earlier
this year as part of the partnership, baker
Buddy Valastro created a special cake for National
Train Day on May 8. The presentation of
the cake will be a part of the Aug. 16 episode.

Another cool promotion involves giving
away TLC-branded flip-flops to customers of
online shoe retailer Zappos. The promotion
was tagged on the air by TLC and online by
both partners.

TLC branding has also been splashed across
the lazy rivers at Six Flags water parks. And
the network has made a deal with hot social
networking site Foursquare to provide TLC
badges to users who visit locations such as
bakeries, cupcake shops and barbecue joints.