WINNER: TNT FOR THE CLOSER, SEASON 3
Many network marketers say they want to reach people at places they frequent, meaning high-traffic spots like train stations, bus stops and ballparks. Those spots weren’t exactly what TNT had in mind for season 3 of crime drama The Closer. TNT’s primary target was women 35-54 — the demo that would encompass Kyra Sedgwick’s Deputy Chief Johnson — and it went after them in places they really frequent. TNT took over some 200 nail salons prior to the season 3 premiere, bedecking the sites with signage, countertop cards and window clings. Most important, it armed nail technicians with materials about The Closer, and urged them to discuss the series with clients. To make the deal sweeter, and to capitalize on an item that seems to constantly fall out of Johnson’s handbag, TNT gave away bottles of Closer-branded crimson nail polish at the salons. In addition, a direct mail package was aimed at realtors, hair stylists and women’s association officers. These women were sent not only letters but DVDs of the series, with the goal of encouraging sampling in a social setting. TNT also recruited and harnessed the show’s "super fans," and deployed them as word-of-mouth ambassadors.
Usually television series are hard-pressed to improve their ratings from one year to the next. That’s not been the case with The Closer, and wasn’t for season 3 either as it premiered with a 7.3 rating June 18, besting its season 2 performance and eventually becoming the most-watched cable series in history.
More than 100 Sheraton hotels were the staging ground for a promotion designed to create awareness of the season 3 premiere. Hotels guests were able to see a sneak preview of the premiere episodes, and some hotels even ran screening parties.
The Closer became cable’s most DVR-ed drama; DVR has delivered some 1.3 million viewers, with 35% of adult viewers 18-49 watching via DVR.
Messaging and creative for the campaign were developed from direct feedback of "super fans" of the series.
CNBC’s The Power Lunch Road Show — CNBC gave loyal viewers and advertisers the chance to connect on a more personal level with its Power Lunch show, literally taking the show on the road, broadcasting from eight cities in eight weeks, and drawing more than 3,000 fans.
NMA Entertainment & Marketing for Modern Marvels Invent Now! Challenge — NMA developed a grassroots effort and key corporate partnerships to reenergize the Modern Marvels invention contest, whose results were shown on The History Channel’s Modern Marvels Invent Now Week.