BBC America felt Robin Hood could change perceptions about the network being stereotypically British (read stuffy). The age-old Sherwood Forest tale of wealth redistribution was laced with many contemporary touches, including a sexy cast, a fallible Robin and a Maid Marian who was far from being a defenseless damsel in distress. The network exploited the series’ hip feel with a campaign that included TV, print, online, radio and outdoor ads. It also took care not to scare off BBC America’s older viewers, stressing that the story remained in its historic setting. Underscoring the series’ concern with wealth and the strength of the Marian character, actress Lucy Griffiths was booked to ring the closing bell of the New York Stock Exchange, a stunt that got wide play.

To exploit one of the network’s largest markets, Los Angeles, BBCA created its first affiliate promotion, establishing a partnership with Time Warner Cable L.A., launching a sweepstakes that pushed Robin Hood and VOD. Viewers were urged to watch Robin Hood on Time Warner On Demand so they could participate in the monthlong Demand More Robin Hood contest. The more episodes a consumer watched, the greater the chance to win the weekly prize of a trip for four to England, a big-screen HDTV and free cable for one year.

The effort was worthwhile; the Robin Hood premiere was BBC America’s best-rated telecast, grabbing 525,000 viewers.

Fast Facts

  • Robin Hood’s penchant for archery supplied BBC America with a hook to change its logo to a hip-looking archery target.

  • Robin Hood was marketed so the series would appeal to men and women; it did, as the male/female skew was 55/45. It also reduced the network’s median age by seven years.


Honorable Mentions:

NMA for The History Channel’s Human Weapon — NMA’s off-network campaign for the mixed martial arts series included promotions at martial arts schools, martial arts events and tournaments and comic book stores.

Lifetime for How to Look Good Naked — The largest reality series marketing effort in Lifetime’s history included the network’s first airline partnership.

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