Snapple everywhere

Viacom Plus, beverage group agree to $15 million cross-platform promotion
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It'll be the summer of Snapple on MTV and UPN. And, on Viacom's Infinity Radio, shock jocks Opie and Anthony will somehow find a way to be always talking about the fruity beverage. In fact, if you want to avoid overdosing on Snapple promotions on Viacom-owned media this summer, tune to CBS.

That broadcast network, with its older demographics, is the only Viacom outlet that is not part of a massive cross-platform deal between Viacom Plus and the Snapple Beverage Group, now owned by Cadbury Schweppes, and the first cross-platform deal of the 2002 season. Ad pros predict a record number of cross-platform advertising deals leading up to this year's upfront marketplace.

Even in a down economy—or perhaps because of it—all the broadcast networks are brewing such deals, in which one brand gets its message across on a variety of media owned by the likes of Disney, AOL Time Warner, News Corp. and NBC, all of which are hatching their own platform plays. "2002 will be the year of the cross-platform deal," crowed one network executive.

Neither Viacom nor Snapple, nor the ad agency that put the deal together, New York-based Deutsch, would disclose the value of the Snapple package. But sources put its value at $15 million.

Deutsch Executive Vice President Peter Gardiner said the pact is the biggest single ad deal Snapple has ever done. "But the value of these cross-platform arrangements goes well beyond just buying stuff," he said. "It's about promotion and events and even content threaded throughout the campaign. It really makes it more valuable than just a media buy."

The campaign will run from April through October and feature ads on MTV and MTV2, as well as on UPN, BET, VH1, Nick at Night, CMT and TNN. Viacom Outdoor and Infinity Radio's Opie and Anthony are also part of the package. The syndicated shock duo will weave mentions of Snapple products into their daily broadcast much as they do with Samuel Adams beer, which has become the unofficial beer of their broadcast.

CBS-TV is not a part of the Snapple deal because the beverage company's demographic target is adults 18-34, with a core target of 18 to 24. The MTV Summer Beach House will serve as home base for a summer-long promotion called "What's your story?" Viewers will be asked to go to the Snapple Web site and share their most interesting summer stories. The winning entry will be made into a Snapple commercial.

Snapple will use the campaign in part to launch a line of flavored-water products called Elements.

Viacom Plus Senior Vice President Lisa McCarthy said the company has two basic goals in striking platform deals. The first is to provide some unique benefit (such as the Beach House backdrop that will appear in ads on all the participating networks). The second is to get a bigger chunk of revenue than if the client had simply bought time from different Viacom divisions.

In effect, she said, Snapple is "borrowing our brand connection with their consumers" to create a "cool, nutty, fun, hip and integrated campaign."

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