ABC Pushes Fall Season With Music Videos

The Kinks Re-Record Song for 'Desperate Housewives'

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Move over MTV. ABC is planning to shoot a series of music videos to promote its upcoming fall shows. Much as it did during the Super Bowl earlier this year, when ABC aired a doctored video of classic '80s song "Addicted to Love" by Robert Palmer, the network is commissioning special versions of songs to catch the attention of viewers.
The Kinks will redo their classic '60s hit 'You Really Got Me' to air in support of 'Desperate Housewives'.
The Kinks will redo their classic '60s hit 'You Really Got Me' to air in support of 'Desperate Housewives'. Credit: ABC

'A strong device'
"We are using music as a strong device," said Marla Provencio, co-senior VP-marketing. "A lot of storytelling will be through music and we chose pieces of music that tell a story." The first music video will promote "Lost," where the marketing challenge for ABC will be hooking viewers who haven't watched before and may feel disconnected from the show's continuous storyline.

ABC has summoned The Kinks for a redo of their classic '60s hit "You Really Got Me" to air in support of "Desperate Housewives." The Frey's "How to Save a Life" is also being used in support of "Grey's Anatomy." Other deals are still being pursued.

"It is one way to broaden out the appeal to a certain audience," added Ms. Provencio.

Still, ABC isn't abandoning traditional marketing and will continue the dirty-laundry marketing theme the network used to promote the first season of "Desperate Housewives." "We're doing print ads with a beautiful layout in a dirty laundromat," said Ms. Provencio. ABC will also plaster laundromats around the country with posters for the show.

Shows get websites
ABC is also in the process of setting up a number of show websites to promote programs like "Six Degrees" (www.youareconnected.com) and "Knights of Prosperity" (www.jointheknights.com). "The Nine," a drama about a hostage situation, will have a web presence at www.onlytheyknow.com. "The internet is the biggest buzz word in marketing," said Ms. Provencio, adding that her marketing team has been looking at ways to do things that are "organic, original and innovative."

She said that ABC is planning a large nontraditional marketing push for comedy "Ugly Betty." The effort will likely be similar to the network's 2004 promotion for "Lost" in which bottles (with messages inside) were placed on beaches, but Ms. Provencio declined to divulge the details of the "Ugly Betty" strategy.

In outdoor, ABC is planning a subway campaign in New York City for "Six Degrees," a show about how people are connected without realizing it. The subway ads will read: "The person that sat next to you could be your next boss."
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