WINNER: DIY NETWORK FOR BLOG CABIN

Like any cable channel worth its salt today, DIY Network has a highly interactive, complementary Web site. But the 2.5 million monthly visitors to the site and members of its 47 million television households had been a disparate group, with little evidence that the do-it-yourselfers who were logging on were also tuning in, and vice versa. That is, until Cabin fever struck. With a goal of cross-pollinating its audiences and reaching out to affinity groups, the network tossed its tools into the user-generated-content fray. A 13-part TV series tagged Blog Cabin was to be based on the construction of a 1,600-square-foot cabin in the Great Smoky Mountains. The design was to be an amalgam of suggestions by "citizen designers" who — ahem — logged their votes for aspects of the cabin, including floor plan, countertops and roof line on the DIY Web site. Programming also was to incorporate additional aspects of the online conversation as it led to the final product. As an added incentive, a Web-based contest would award a winner with keys to the finished cabin. As the TV premiere approached, DIY created a multimedia news release with PR Newswire that married a traditional release with video, photos and other interactive content. By creating a campaign that toggled fluidly between the linear television and online universe, DIY hammered home its brand.

Fast Facts

  • The premiere of DIY’s 13-part Blog Cabin series increased the lead-in audience by 50%.

  • 4.2 million votes were cast online to determine aspects of the cabin, more than four times the network’s goal.

  • The Blog Cabin sweepstakes received 3.2 million entries.

 

WINNER: YES NETWORK FOR YANKEES HD

When you’re launching to cover the New York Yankees, you’d better come to the plate with a winning pitch. YES HD wanted to inform affiliates and, by extension, subscribers, that it was in the game, and the network used fanfare surrounding Opening Day of the 2007 Yankees’ season as the vehicle to hit home its brand and the power of the high-definition experience. YES also wanted to eliminate confusion with the non-HD channel and stave off any viewer erosion. Taglines such as "The only way to get closer to the Yankees…try out for the team" and "Picture perfect Yankees baseball" jumped out through educational on-camera HD spots, posters featuring Yankees players and print ads the network made available to affiliates. Derek Jeter was featured in much of the promotional material, which also included a direct-mail piece that explained YES HD’s value proposition to Yankees fans. As a service to affiliates, YES produced a pair of non-Yankees direct mail pieces operators could disseminate to talk up the merits of hi-def in general. YES also devised a media relations strategy that promoted not only the launch of YES HD but also the fifth anniversary of the regional sports network.

Fast Facts

  • The Yankees on YES (composite for YES SD and HD) averaged a 4.67 HH rating in 2007, a 9.6% increase over 2006.

  • YES’ prime-time Yankees telecasts from June through the regular season were the No. 1 ranked programs in the New York DMA 42 out of 50 game nights.

  • 2007 saw the highest cable ratings for Yankees games since 1979.

Honorable Mentions:

Big Ten Network/Tom Dick & Harry Advertising for Big Ten Country Football — Big Ten got 30 million subs in 30 days in part due to this campaign highlighting school-specific rituals.

Cox for Cox New England: Better Products. Better Service. Better People. — With the FiOS assault under way, Cox unleashed this catchy customer-service- focused campaign.

The Imagine ICE Video Platform Launch — Imagine turned heads at the SCTE conference with news placements, demos, a cocktail party and an e-mail campaign.

Turner Networks Sales for TNT Saving Grace/Cox Network of the Month — Co-branded "summer survival kits" were sent to customers who saw a cross-channel Saving Grace spot and upgraded their cable service online.

UniWorld Group for Trendsetter — UniWorld developed a Web site heavy on content sharing as the nexus of its campaign for Time Warner Cable focused on the "youth trendsetter" market.

Versus/Haley Miranda for Whitetail Campaign — Versus increased viewership for its whitetail deer programming by enlisting participating operators to drive consumers to an online contest where they could "hunt" deer.

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