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CBS' Shark Treatment

3/13/2005 07:00:00 PM Eastern

To hype the March 20 telecast of Spring Break Shark Attack,
CBS will blitz the airwaves during the
NCAA March Madness basketball tournament with
promos that end with killer sharks taking great big bites out of the historic
50-year-old “eye” logo.

Shark Attack, CBSers will tell you,
is just one of those for-the-heck-of-it projects that ought to draw millions of
viewers. “We also do the Hallmark Hall of Fame,” jokes
George Schweitzer, president of the CBS
marketing group, who concocted an elaborate and deliberately over-the-top promo
campaign for a movie that has sharks, mayhem—and a lot of cute coeds in
bikinis. In short, it's perfect for the Madness crowd.

After the games start on March 17, you'll see the shark slither across
the screen with Jaws-like music sounding in
the background. At California beaches, planes towing banners—with a chunk
“eaten” by a shark—will hype Shark
Attack
, and in New York's Times
Square, CBS will distribute “Bite Me”-emblazoned can coolers and inflatable
sharks. Throughout the week, CBS will promote the movie as it sponsors
babe-alicious spring-break coverage beamed by Viacom-owned sister network
MTV.

CBS has nixed past attempts to alter the eye, but Schweitzer says,
seemingly citing a guide to such things, “I noticed, nowhere is it written
that a shark can't take a bite out of it.”

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