HOWARD STERN TV VIRAL ADS HAVE TO BE SEEN

Because Describing Them Will Just Get Us in Trouble

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Sirius has already proved consumers will pay for an uncensored Howard Stern -- and video-on-demand program provider InDemand Networks is prepping a major marketing campaign to launch the latest iteration, Howard TV.
Yes, that's a beaver. And yes, she is wielding an electric razor.

The visual version of Mr. Stern’s new Sirius Satellite Radio show will bow on cable systems’ on-demand platforms March 16 and is being supported by a cringe-worthy TV ad campaign from New York agency DiNoto. The spot, which will run on male-oriented cable channels such as Viacom’s Comedy Central and Spike and in men’s print books, shows a man having a Brazilian wax at Mr. Stern’s studios.

More euphemistic than explicit
But it’s the viral campaign that more likely to get the attention. Three viral videos from New York agency Walrus are euphemistic rather than explicit. One involves a very staid looking gentleman patting a monkey sitting on his knee. The other two that will be whizzing around e-mail inboxes next week are titled “Beaver” and “Clam.” One shows a woman using an electric razor on a stuffed beaver, and the second shows a man dining on a clam. (Draw your own conclusions.) The tagline: “We’re not afraid to show it.”

While Howard Stern’s archived shows have been available to view on demand since November at $9.99 a month, In Demand will be pushing up the price to $13.99 -- a dollar more than a Sirius subscription -- as visuals from Mr. Stern’s satellite radio show becomes available for download. The price also includes such things as coverage of Mr. Stern’s first-ever film festival happening in April and his 50th birthday party.

Bolster VOD market
The on-demand offerings will be ad-free, and cable operators are hoping the exclusive content will help bolster the VOD market, a major gambit in their fight against satellite TV companies. Previously, video versions of Mr. Stern’s TV show were available on E! Network’s late-night lineup; now, the only place viewers can find Mr. Stern’s new TV broadcasts are on VOD.

Hard as it is to imagine, Mr. Stern’s Sirius show is even more shocking than his terrestrial radio broadcasts on Infinity. Stacie Gray, senior VP-marketing and executive director at In Demand, said: “There’s no censorship, [the Sirius show] is a little looser and is more like guys talking.”

“The challenge was how do you sell what you can’t show,” added Sergie Kuharsky, exec VP-sales and marketing at In Demand. “The reality of broadcast standards is that you want to exercise some good taste. You don’t want to offend and you want to avoid kids and parents.”

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