As TBS can attest, there really is something to the adage, "When you’ve got it, flaunt it." Back in 2006, the Turner cornerstone was one of cable’s most successful ad-supported networks, touting watercooler rerun hits like Sex and the City and Friends. But it had low reach among African-Americans, especially in prime time. That was then. Today, TBS’ presence among African-Americans is thriving thanks to Tyler Perry’s House of Payne, which delivered record-breaking ratings out of the gate when it premiered on the network in June 2007. New series don’t just whip up and sustain the kind of viewership House of Payne achieved without some serious street cred. TBS wisely realized it had struck gold when it successfully wooed Perry, and the sales force went full throttle, spreading the word that the network was Perry’s new television home. It’s no coincidence Perry’s name is part of the show’s title and loomed large across TBS’ multimedia campaign, encompassing sister Turner networks and African-American-centric publications like Essence and Jet. Radio was a particularly effective vehicle as TBS fed customized promotions to local DJs, hosted an Atlanta-based reception for local spinners and reached out to notable national DJs including Tom Joyner, Steve Harvey and Michael Baisden. At launch and thereafter, the sales team bore down on the core Perry fan base — active churchgoers and spiritual advocates. Targeted congregations received a weekly e-mail blast titled "Contagious Joy" that highlighted real-life applications of the House of Payne storyline. Church socials in top African-American markets were converted into "Evenings of Joy & Payne," with special screenings, branded giveaways and a custom message from Perry himself. The campaign also swept gospel radio with a contest through which the writer of the best short story as judged by Perry’s creative team won a $25,000 donation to the building fund of his or her church. Seems the House that Perry and TBS built is very strong, indeed.

Fast Facts

  • The premiere episode of Tyler Perry’s House of Payne became ad-supported cable’s No. 1 sitcom telecast of all time, with more than 9 million viewers.

  • House of Payne grew TBS’ African-American audience reach by 128%.


Honorable Mentions:

Cable Bahamas for How Fast Do You Like It? — Cable Bahamas grew its share in a highly penetrated market by running ads with varied-tempo Bahamian music to demonstrate its broadband speeds of 1.5, 3, 6 and 9 megabits per second and wrapping its service vehicles in images of dancers to build buzz.

Cox Las Vegas for Telefonia Digital de Cox — Cox Las Vegas realized an 18.7% increase in Hispanic video/phone subscribers by teaming with CNN en Espanol on a mailer that included a free 10-minute prepaid card to promote its digital phone service’s low rates for calls to Latin America.

International Networks for Celebrate Diwali with Bollywood Hits On Demand — International Networks realized a 572% increase in subscribers for its Bollywood on-demand service after it gave new subs a free Bollywood DVD from Eros Entertainment.

TuTv for Curaton! Stars United in the Battle Against Cancer — TuTv bought buzz for its lifestyle diginet Telehit, collected 215 signatures urging Time Warner Cable Los Angeles to add the network and got exclusive coverage of a Latino-focused event, all by teaming with the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society for a benefit concert.

TV One for I See Black People — TV One’s first off-TV campaign saturated new markets Chicago and New York with bus sides, kiosks and billboards tagged "I See Black People" to advertise the network’s wide focus on African-Americans leading everyday lives.

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The Daily



Cherie Grzech is leaving Fox News to join NewsNation as vp of news, managing editor. Her appointment is

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