Animal Planet’s marketing campaign for Whale Wars was appropriately large. Not only was it aimed at publicizing the series, it attempted to create awareness of the network’s new programming mantra: Animal Planet as a showcase of controversial issues facing the animal world. Capitalizing on coverage of the presidential election, the network reached out to politically engaged viewers by showering networks, including CNN, MSNBC and Comedy Central, with consciousness-raising ads featuring the Whale Wars’ Sea Shepherd Society; this complemented its more typical ad base at A&E, History and TBS. On Election Day, high-impact video rolls surfaced on news sites, including CNN, Yahoo and the Huffington Post. Print ads in The New York Times, People and Entertainment Weekly rounded out the campaign.

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Honorable Mentions:

ABC Family for The Secret Life of the American Teenager Series Launch: ABC Family marketed to its core 12-34 audience where they live with a multi-tiered campaign in malls and movie theaters, and on television and the Internet. As a result, the premiere was the network’s top-rated original telecast among key demographics and ranked as the No. 1 broadcast during the hour across several demos. ABC Family’s Internet traffic also reached an all-time high for a season premiere with 1 million-plus viewers during premiere week.

BBC America for Primeval: Television spots, bus sides, a campaign with TiVo’s Showcase Network and a 30-second trailer running before PG-13 and R-rated movies on nearly 3,000 screens for six weeks before the premiere helped Primeval debut as BBC America’s third-most-successful drama.

Cartoon Network/Turner Broadcasting for Star Wars: The Clone Wars Series Launch: Thirty days isn’t long to generate buzz for a series, but Cartoon succeeded by implementing the largest TV campaign in its history, launching an on-screen sweepstakes to promote the new Star Wars Hasbro toy line and creating a robust Web site with series producer Lucasfilm.

IFC for Z Rock: IFC used pop culture billboards, held a music-chain contest and sent a "Spinal Tapishly" funny activity book to press to promote its original series and establish itself as a comedy destination as well as a source for independent film.

Big Ten Network for Big Ten Network Illinois Football: The Journey: Who better to help promote this new documentary than a portion of the Illini cheer section donning bright orange, appropriately tagged T-shirts? Among other grassroots efforts, Big Ten worked with local bars and produced spots to run on the team’s promotional screen during home games.

Whale-Sized Results

  • Whale Wars was the best-performing series in the network’s history among audiences 25-54 and males 25-54. It delivered an average of nearly 1 million P2+ viewers across its seven premieres and scored triple-digit ratings gains compared to Animal Planet’s fourth-quarter prime average.

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Khan Expected to Chair FTC

As the calls mount for a fifth FCC commissioner, the FTC has a fifth commish and a new chair. Big tech critic Lina Khan was confirmed to the agency by a 69-28 vote in the Senate Tuesday, with reports that

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