NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Turner Entertainment's Adult Swim has long catered to the college audience, so it's only fitting that the late-night network is taking its first spring-break trip.
"Adult Swim Presents: The Williams Street County Fair and Beach Party" is the network's first spring-break event, and will be held in Panama City Beach, Fla., from March 12-16. Capcom's "Resident Evil 5" video game is the event's exclusive sponsor, and will be promoted this weekend through an on-air sponsorship of Adult Swim's "Tim and Eric's Awesome Show, Great Job!" online at AdultSwimPresents.com and on site with a branded gaming station, housed in a tent inspired by Meatwad from "Aqua Teen Hunger Force."
Familiar face on campus
Although spring break is virgin territory for Adult Swim, the network is no stranger to bringing branded events to college students, with advertisers coming along for the ride. Last October, the Williams Street County Fair traveled to 16 colleges, with sponsors EA Sports' NBA Live and T-Mobile on board. In fall 2007, Adult Swim hosted dual concert college tours, with Activision's "Guitar Hero III" and Virgin Mobile bringing fictional metal band Dethklok to campus, and Helio sponsoring a hip-hop bill headlined by Ghostface Killah.
John O'Hara, exec VP-general sales manager for Cartoon Network and Adult Swim, said the latest foray in Panama City is "bound to be different than what anyone else does on spring break. We want to extend the brand on the ground and we're doing that with events." Plus, getting in front of the 18-24 demo is more lucrative than ever, as college students are proving to outspend their peers. "Their disposable income is always disposable, and they think differently about it. They're less impacted by the economic conditions than the general market," Mr. O'Hara said.
Adult Swim is also poised to finish the first quarter of 2009 with ad-revenue growth, having finished February as the most-watched network in ad-supported cable among adults 18-34. Viewership by that group grew 17% year over year, and went up 15% among men 18-24 in the same period. "We are growing our business in the face of these conditions. The Adult Swim Brand and our property are showing growth year over year," Mr. O'Hara said.