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CBS Eye Adds an Ear - Broadcasting & Cable

CBS Eye Adds an Ear

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CBS's iconic logo may be an eye, but it could as easily be an ear given its latest promotional gambit for the new season schedule, which launches this week.

First, it is looking to be the 1-800 pound promotional gorilla, plugging the new fall shows on a free 411 service.

Jingle Networks has begun inserting "radio-like audio spots"from CBS stars pitching their new shows. CBS is looking to reach a captive audience of 411 callers as they wait for their numbers. No word on whether they will throw in a plug for Numbe3rs, but you can hear a sample of the spots here.

CBS Radio has also produced what are being called "limited-edition radio-casts," tabbed CBS Got Jacked, with prime time stars plugging shows. They will be available starting today (Sept. 18) at www.cbsgotjacked.com.

CBS has been nothing if not creative in what it labels its 'outernet" strategy of using "nontraditional marketing techniques." Those have included underwriting freshness codes on eggs and promoting shows on water coolers and even postage stamps.

More recently, it is putting plugs for new shows on security pedestals in drug stores and on elevator doors in L.A. and New York. There was even a 45-acre ad for one new drama: CBS got a crop artist to create a scene from Jericho in Lawrence, Kan. But the state's commitment goes beyond simply that "grassroots" (CBS' pun, not ours) marketing effort. The town of Lawrence, Kan., is renaming itself Jericho as of Sept. 20, said a CBS marketing spokeswoman.

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