TLC's Marketing Whiz


How do you publicize a home-improvement show for regular guys, especially when it’s hosted by a notoriously potty-mouthed comedian? If you’re TLC, you build elaborate portable toilets and station them at football games.

Touting The Adam Carolla Project, which premieres Oct. 4, the campaign will run from Sept. 26 through Oct. 11, featuring toilets outfitted with red carpets, velvet ropes, and hard-hat–wearing attendants in eight cities (for seven NFL games and one college contest, in Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Washington, Atlanta, Chicago, Seattle and Los Angeles). Oh, and the portable johns will be equipped with TV sets promoting the show.

Carolla, labeled “the busiest lazy man in history” by friend/business partner Jimmy Kimmel, worked as a carpenter before his TV and radio career. In the TLC show, Carolla renovates his boyhood home to sell it for a profit. The channel is hoping that the show, and a few other new reality series, will help it recover from audience burn-out after its over-scheduling of Trading Spaces in the past couple of years. In July, TLC was down 27% in prime from the year before, with an average of 684,000 total viewers.

The Carolla promotion will also include fake portable toilets stationed outside regular-guy destinations like sports bars, construction sites and home-improvement centers in New York and Los Angeles.Pity the poor intern in charge of dismantling the faux toilets after they’ve been visited by a few sports-bar drunks with bursting bladders.