"It's a very concerted strategic effort as part of the 'rebirth,' as I like to call it, of Ovation TV both on TV and online," said Gaynor Strachan Chun, senior VP-marketing at Ovation. "For both Ovation TV and our advertisers, we know that 360-degree marketing is really important. Our [arts] partnerships allow us to tap into a very rich cultural scene ... to have on-air, online and on-site connections to cultural consumers."
Those partnerships -- which have both co-marketing and co-promotion components as well as branded-advertising partners -- include such prestigious cultural institutions as the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Harlem School of the Arts in New York, the Museum of Contemporary Art and P.S. Arts, both in Los Angeles, and the New Orleans Center for Creative Artists.
Last year, for example, Ovation partnered with Geico and the American Museum of Natural History in New York to cross-promote a Geico-sponsored Hall of Origins exhibit on its network, in the museum and in each other's advertising.
However, it is Ovation's most recent marketing foray with the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago that stands as the best example of the channel's integrated marketing direction, Ms. Strachan Chun said.
The partnership began with an agreement for Ovation TV to produce a 12-minute film on artist Jeff Koons to run on the video wall at the entrance to the museum's curated show of a 20-year retrospective of Mr. Koons which began this month. The short film shot at Mr. Koons' studio in New York features interviews with the artist as well as MCA Chicago's curator Francesco Bonami. Now the well-received short will be expanded in a one-hour special set to air in July as part of Ovation TV's "American Revolutionaries" series.
Curating digital content
MCA is promoting Ovation TV in its correspondence to its members, publications and advertising. For its part, Ovation TV will run ads this summer across its network both online and on-air encouraging viewers to visit MCA. The network has a total of 29 million subscribers across DirecTV, DISH Network and cable systems around the country.
MCA will also become the first online "curator" of Ovation TV's newly launched social networking function. For the month of June, MCA will curate the images, text and videos shown on the community home page found at www.ovationTV.com/community. Since its launch last month, the social networking site has signed up about 2,000 members, including 20 art and cultural institutions.
Ovation TV plans to use the MCA work as a case study to take to marketers as it begins a more aggressive push to sign up advertising partners. "The next phase is to really start marketing our social networking," Ms. Strachan Chun said. "Clearly sponsorships are an option -- especially if you like a really specific direct connection to this targeted and highly valuable audience."