Look! Up on the small screen! It's an ad, its a show, it's Superman! Yes, Superman ... and Seinfeld.
The line between ad and program continues to blur through a new "marketing partnership" between American Express and TBS.
TBS will air a four-minute "webisode" from American Express' The Adventures of Seinfeld and Superman, an online extension of the popular "buddy comedy" TV ad campaign that teamed the comedian and animated super hero. The webisodes are streamed on the American Express Web site, americanexpress.com.
TBS will air the first four-minute episode of the Web series, "A Uniform Used To Mean Something," June 15, immediately following the debut of Sex and the City, then after each succeeding airing through the end of the week. The long-form ad is a first for TBS. The network will promote the long-form ad with on-air billboards and bugs during Sex and the City
For another week, American Express has bought 30-second prime time spots providing sneak previews of the second installment and directing viewers to log on to the Web site to see the rest of that webisode.
Although the the campaign is described as a marketing partnership, it does not include cross-promotion of Sex and the City on the Amex Web site. Instead, TBS sees the partnership element being the value of the Seinfeld/Superman creative to reinforce the nets new comedy brand. TBS relaunched as a comedy network June 4, the centerpiece of which is its slating of off-HBO Sex and the City.