How did NBCU’s affiliate marketing team impress us in 2008? Let us count the ways. USA Network remained the No. 1 cable network. MSNBC became the fastest-growing cable network. Bravo had its best-ever year. Oxygen had its best-ever year. CNBC had its best year since 2000. Sci Fi became the No. 5 network in cable. The inspired team dominated the breadth and depth of their work on 10 different promotions with cable affiliates, giving us the perfect fodder for a top 10 countdown:
10. Oxygen’s Tori & Dean: Home Sweet Hollywood: Cable affiliates received customizable spots for a nationwide promotion/viewer sweepstakes. In the top 50 markets, the promo was for a Los Angeles getaway. Markets 51-plus gave away a $1,000 housewarming prize pack.
9. USA’s Starter Wife: Exclusive designer packages were the prize for an ad sales promotion with affiliates in the top 24 markets that delivered more than $1 million in cross-media value.
8. CNBC’s Tax Tips: Affiliates received eight vignettes featuring senior correspondent Sharon Epperson’s tax tips on learning disability, mortgage and home office deductions and retirement savings; they delivered a $4 million media value.
7. Oxygen’s Bad Girls Club: Thirty cable affiliates delivered $1 million in media value by participating in this promotion that offered those in the top 25 markets a prize pack worth $3,000, and those in markets 26-plus a Nintendo Wii and merchandise bundle.
6. Bravo’s Make Me a Supermodel: A trip to supermodel haven NYC was the top draw for this promo that attracted 52 cable affiliates and delivered $1.5 million in value.
5. USA’s Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show: It was K9 craziness as the team provided dog-show-themed prize packs to 57 affiliates, which delivered $1 million in cross-channel value for USA series Psych.
4. USA’s In Plain Sight: Operation Relocation: The NBCU team drummed up a cross-channel media value of $5 million with this local ad sales promo in conjunction with Comcast’s mall kiosk program.
3. Bravo’s Top Chef – the Tour: The affiliate team generated $1.3 million in value and an estimated 1,000 consumer impressions per day from this different take on meals on wheels that sent a branded 18-wheeler to 20 key markets and presented cooking demonstrations for cable affiliates and consumers.
2. Sci Fi’s Ghost Hunters: Real Scary Promotion: This local ad sales promo — for a grand-prize trip to the Stanley Hotel and dinner with the series’ stars — included taggable vignettes, Comcast mall kiosk promos, Time Warner Cable ad sales spots and a DirecTV retail sweepstakes that delivered a combined cross-channel media value of $7 million.
1. And the No. 1 reason NBCU’s affiliate team takes the gold this year…The 2008 Beijing Olympics campaign: NBCU provided 3,600 hours of multiplatform coverage and notched commitments from 230 cable affiliates to run a minimum of 350 cross-channel spots in support of the Games. Promotional support received was valued at $30 million, leaving the company pumped about its exclusive U.S. media rights to the Olympics through 2012.