When it comes to reaching a national audience it’s pretty hard to beat the raw power of television, with millions of eyeballs there for the buying. So why are the marketers at those valuable channels integrating more and more events into their marketing strategies to reach the consumers they need? Because, according to those networks doing it, the power of one-to-one engagement is the best way for them to get focused on key markets and demographics. TLC, Lifetime and WE tv lead the way this summer with a series of targeted tours.
As part of its summer programming launch strategy, TLC targeted New Yorkers on May 25 with a live stunt that tied into its on-air spots. The network created a see-through swimming pool on wheels and parked it on Sixth Avenue.
The glass box truck was filled with 7,200 gallons of water and, like the commercials, featured a team of synchronized swimmers who drew crowds and fun figures in the water with equal facility. When the swimmers took breaks, a SCUBA diver went under water to hold up humorous signs and invite passersby and onlookers to take home promotional flip flops and, of course, remember to tune in.
“The New York City market is key for TLC viewership, so we wanted to do something that was attention-grabbing and word-of-mouth-worthy,” says Rose Stark, director of marketing at TLC. “A live event brings our brand to life in ways we can’t do with mass media and exposes [consumers] to an up close and personal experience with the brand for longer, more meaningful exchanges” (Agency: LeadDog Marketing Group, New York City).
On June 4, Lifetime Television hit three locations in New York City with its “Makeovers on the Move” tour—a box truck outfitted with makeover stations that provided free “diva” experiences including manicures, massages and a mini photo shoot. The events promoted the June 6 second season premiere of “Drop Dead Diva” and sought to attract women and get them talking about the program to their friends and families.
The truck parked for two hours in three Manhattan locations, where a red velvet rope was set up to surround the footprint and lend an air of exclusivity to the experience. The network took over the sidewalk adjacent to the 18-foot glass truck and brand ambassadors invited people to line up for makeovers with professional stylists. A film crew shot reaction videos that will later be used for promo spots.
“This initiative presented a unique way to get to the essence of the show and gave potential viewers an opportunity to fully embrace the feel of the program,” says Alex Ignon, vp-media and consumer promotions at Lifetime (Agency: LeadDog Marketing Group, New York City).
The WE tv network and its sister network and online portal Wedding Central will hit 20 markets this year with its Wedding Mall Tour in order to bring its message to target viewers (women who are getting married, or plan to) that they are the premier sources for all things wedding. The tour kicked off on May 29 at the Mall in Columbia, in Columbia, MD, and will conclude in Durham, NC, Oct. 9.
Each stop on the tour will feature one of WE tv’s five wedding experts: cake designer Ron Ben-Israel, gown designer Mark Ingram, invitation expert “Ceci” Johnson, event planner David Tutera and event stylist Diann Valentine. The expert personalities will do presentations on how to create a fabulous wedding without breaking the bank. After the celebrity presentations, attendees will be able to meet the celebs, ask questions and enter to win a variety of wedding-themed prizes, including a $1,000 shopping spree, all of which is designed to earn lasting word of mouth.
“This is an opportunity for our viewers and consumers to touch and feel the brand over the course of a two-hour experience,” says Kenetta Bailey, senior vp-marketing at WE tv and Wedding Central. “We wanted to come to a place where women are and have our experts sitting with consumers bringing these wedding ideas to life in their weddings, and keep WE tv’s number one spot in the ratings” (Agency: Grand Central Marketing, New York City). EM