Busch Entertainment Group is also expected to sign on as a tie-in partner for its theme parks, according to an executive close to parent Anheuser-Busch.
In what could be the biggest marketing campaign ever for a cable network, Fox Family will give away a vacation house to the grand-prize winner of a watch-and-win sweepstakes.
A NEW CHANNEL
The promotion's scope is along the lines of those used in the past to promote broadcast networks' fall schedules. But the broadcast nets have scaled back their promotions in recent years, using them primarily to tout certain shows. Fox Family is being more aggressive to make sure consumers get the message that this is not the Family Channel of old.
News Corp., parent of Fox, and Saban Entertainment purchased the channel from televangelist Pat Robertson and other interests; in addition to the new name coming in August, there will be a new programming lineup.
"We're becoming the Family Channel for the '90s," said Ann Brown, VP-advertiser marketing for Fox Family, "and we want to encourage as much sampling as we can."
"Fox Family will skew younger than the old Family Channel," said Rick Sirvaitis, president-ad sales.
WATCH AND WIN
Sweepstakes entry forms will be available in 4,600 Wendy's outlets nationwide. To qualify for the drawing, consumers will be asked to write down the channel number where Fox Family appears on their cable systems and the name of an icon that will appear on screen at select times during the day.
The promotion also "will help drive traffic into our stores during a key promotional initiative for our pita sandwich," said Don Calhoon, Wendy's senior VP-marketing.
Busch's likely involvement stems from its relationship with "Captain's Treasure House," the new Captain Kangaroo series on Fox Family. The show is filmed at Busch Gardens, Tampa, Fla.
It's likely a number of trips to Busch theme parks will be given away during the sweepstakes.
Polygram will include a 60-second message on 800,000 rental units of "The Borrowers" that will promote the sweepstakes. TV spots promoting the sweepstakes will appear on Fox Broadcasting's Fox Kids Network as well as on Fox Family.
Sister unit News America Marketing Services will chip in with free-standing inserts in Sunday papers.
TEASERS IN JULY
A teaser print campaign breaks in July, with eight-page inserts in Hachette Filipacchi Magazines' Woman's Day and Family Life. That will be followed by two more eight-page inserts in those titles when the campaign breaks in August.
Wal-Mart Stores also will include sweepstakes information in its back-to-school sample kits.
Ms. Brown said cable operators are being urged to get involved in the relaunch by tying in with local sponsors that don't compete with Wendy's. Cable operators will be encouraged to involve local advertisers with customized tags on launch-related cross-channel spots.
To reach both kids and adults in future campaigns, Fox Family will run "branded holiday promotions," Ms. Brown said.
Promotion Development Group, New York, is Fox Family's promotion agency. Wendy's uses Impact Communications, Chicago, for promotions and Bates USA, New York, for advertising.