‘Page Six TV’ Writes Its Own Marketing Book

Show taps parents’ social, digital platforms ahead of launch this fall

Why This Matters

In an increasingly cluttered and fragmented environment, a strong and diverse marketing campaign is essential to reach potential viewers.

One of the most widely cleared new syndicated shows for this fall is Twentieth Television and Endemol Shine North America’s Page Six TV, based on the New York Post’s famous gossip page. To get the word out, both companies worked in tandem, tapping the significant resources of the show’s parent companies, 21st Century Fox and News Corp.

Marketing started in early May. That’s earlier than is typical for syndicated shows, but Twentieth and Endemol Shine North America got a head start after the show was tested on Fox-owned stations for three weeks last summer.

‘Need to Break Through’

“We were so excited about how quickly the stations started airing the spots,” Vivi Zigler, president, digital, brand and audience development, Endemol Shine North America, said. “I think that comes from everybody knowing that you need to break through in this environment. You have to use that to your advantage. Everybody knows what Page Six is, and to be able to tap into that is really important, so we’re doing that early and often.”

Added Twentieth senior VP of marketing and creative Richard Dumont, “It’s a real show of commitment by the affiliates that they got on board immediately.”

The on-air marketing is rolling out in four distinct phases, Dumont continued. “Our show’s personalities are digital influencers, PR gurus, reporters and media-industry insiders. We’ve taken a look at that and woven them into all the spots.”

Page Six TV stars a panel of personalities, including comedian and host John Fugelsang; Page Six’s own Carlos Greer; Bevy Smith of Bravo’s Fashion Queens and Variety’s Elizabeth Wagmeister. Contributors include Page Six editor Emily Smith and deputy editor Ian Mohr, as well as a rotating cast of guest contributors, such as actor/comedian Mario Cantone, who participated last summer.

The phase-one tease spots include 10-and 20-second graphic representations of the types of stories the show might break, with voiceovers provided by the show’s talent.

“We feel so strongly about these contributors that we used them to do the voiceover in the tease spots, and they did a great job,” Dumont said.

Phase two will quickly explain the show’s premise to viewers, and “start to dive into the exclusive access our contributors get and talk more about the types of stories that they will be covering,” he said.

In phase three, the team will work to differentiate Page Six TV from a myriad of other long-establishd entertainment magazines, such as CBS Television Distribution’s Entertainment Tonight and Inside Edition, Warner Bros.’ Extra, NBCUniversal’s Access Hollywood and Warner Bros.’ TMZ.

“It’s not lost on us that there are other entertainment magazines out there, but there’s nothing else out there with the power, edge and irreverent humor of the New York Post,” Dumont said. “In these spots, we’ll take a deeper dive into what makes us unique, which is our pop-culture insider cred and the irreverent tone that the Post brings.”

Finally, in phase four, when the show is close to launching this fall, the team will debut spots that really focus on the talent.

“We booked a soundstage in New Jersey, assembled the talent and spent a full day shooting on set in groups, individuals and pairs, with everyone interacting with a nine-foot-tall show logo,” Dumont said. “What we found is that while we already knew that each cast member stands really well on his or her own but when you bring them together, it’s even better.”

Like the show’s print namesake, the campaign goes past on-air spots into social, digital and beyond.

Page Six TV is the television manifestation of Page Six,” Zigler said. “But there’s also a Page Six, there’s a New York Post, there’s a newsroom, an e-newsletter and an app. They get 40 to 60 million monthly uniques on PageSix.com. We are bringing the Page Six TV portion of the brand to life within all of that existing Page Six IP.”

Twentieth and Endemol Shine North America also are working closely with stations to help them customize and target the show’s marketing. Twice a week, they will send out 60-second pieces “that will be the hottest news from the pop culture and celebrity side of the house featuring our insiders,” Zigler said.

Stations can feature those pieces in their local newscasts starting the last week in June, and they can see a prototype of those spots at PromaxBDA Station Summit in Las Vegas June 19-23.

The team also is going to give stations “Page Six Moments,” which will be 15-second templates that serve as sponsored opportunities for local advertisers. “This is a way to provide local sales teams something they can run outside of the show,” Dumont said.

More Interactivity Ahead

Once the show launches this fall, producers will ramp up its interactivity, posting three to five video clips or still photos each day and asking the audience to respond via polls and quizzes with the results appearing in the show. The team also creates plenty of shareable gifs and memes for fans as part of its social DNA.

Page Six TV also will have a digital companion show that will air on Facebook Live. It did something similar last summer, with broadcasts airing on its own Facebook page as well as on the Facebook pages of some of its owned-and-operated stations, such as WNYW New York or KTTV Los Angeles.

Said Zigler, “That’s a content thing that turns into an enormous marketing weapon.”