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In its most targeted fall promotion to date, NBC is hooking up with Ocean Spray Cranberries to promote the network's new Monday night lineup of sitcoms.

Ocean Spray will be touting a new image, part of a $50 million campaign running into 1998 themed "Refreshingly honest."

While the Ocean Spray effort formally kicks off Sept. 22, NBC is expected to debut promos for its "Refreshingly funny Monday" this week.

The NBC spots will feature the stars of its Monday night comedy lineup-Brooke Shields from "Suddenly Susan," Lea Thompson from "Caroline in the City," Tea Leoni from "The Naked Truth" and Sharon Lawrence for "Fired Up."


Besides spotlighting the shows, the promos will tell viewers about a sweepstakes: Call a toll-free number and enter the product code from any Ocean Spray product to win one of 125 big-screen TVs. Winners' names will be shown on NBC the night of Oct. 6.

The sweepstakes also will be backed by a radio campaign in the top 50 markets, point-of-purchase materials in supermarkets and a free-standing insert in 50 million newspapers Sept. 7.

"We wanted to tie in Ocean Spray's retail presence and target customers and the projected audience of our Monday night comedy block," said Andrew Capone, NBC senior VP-marketing.

He said upscale, educated wo-men are the most likely to tune into the Monday night sitcoms, "though overall we're sure we'll draw a wide cross-section of adults."


The promotion-NBC's major one for the crucial new season launch-is a marked change from years past, when the network ran such all-encompassing advertiser tie-ins as "McMillions on NBC." That promotion, with McDonald's Corp., was meant to have viewers sampling many of NBC's new shows that year.

"We're now trying to be as strategic as possible with our promotions," Mr. Capone said, "so that the effectiveness level increases, perhaps at the expense of some spotlight."

Indeed, the promotion is an indication of the importance NBC has bestowed on trying to displace CBS as the network comedy leader on Monday nights. While NBC is launching eight new series this fall, the promotion is for four returning shows, albeit on a new night.

CBS has not announced its fall tie-in plans yet; ABC is linking up with McDonald's Corp. and American Airlines. The dual purpose of NBC's promotion, Mr. Capone noted, is to move viewers to NBC on Monday-and to move cases of Ocean Spray.


As far as Ocean Spray's new campaign from Arnold Communications, Boston, "The line 'Refreshingly honest' speaks directly to our consumers who say to us, 'Talk to me straight. Cut out the hype. Keep the BS to a minimum,' " said David Murphy, VP-marketing.

Furthermore, he said, Ocean Spray has "moved beyond targeting a demographic age group."

"What we're now saying is that we have one brand, called Ocean Spray, with

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