The push aims to grab the late-night show's younger, "hipper"
audience in a unique and engaging way, said Mr. Charriez. "We want
to make our consumers pay attention."
Last week, "Jimmy Kimmel Live" attracted 831,000 viewers -- a
five-week high -- and was the week's most-watched late-night
broadcast talk show among adults ages 18 to 34, according to
Nielsen data analyzed by TV by the Numbers. The show also has a
huge online following: "Jimmy Kimmel Live" is one of the Top 100
most-viewed channels on YouTube with more than 2 billion views.
The late-night show has recently drawn in an array of marketers
looking to make a splash.
Aflac enlisted Mr. Kimmel to create speed-related skits
promoting its "One Day Pay" initiative in February, and
Old Navy recruited the comedian for a segment pushing its
flip-flop vending machine last year.
Western Union leveraged another big entertainment property last
spring when it partnered with 20th Century Fox's "RIo 2." Fox
Studios created four commercials for the financial firm featuring
the movie's characters in order to connect with families and
Hispanics, in particular. "We proved with "Rio 2" that this was a
great way to connect with consumers," said Mr. Charriez.
The new effort is against the backdrop of burgeoning competition
on the retail side from a cheap money-transfer service introduced
by Walmart last year and backed
by rival MoneyGram. The competition is chipping away at Western
Union's domestic money transfer business where revenue fell 4%
during the fourth quarter despite a 1% increase in transactions,
according to a company conference call. Consumer-to-consumer
revenue in North America comprises 18% of the company's total
earnings, according to a statement.
To maintain its competitive advantage, Western Union is focusing
on improving its services and differentiating its approach to
consumers with content-driven pushes like the "Jimmy Kimmel Live"
"Competitors will always do things," said Mr. Charriez. "As the
leader of the category, we need to set the pace of making money
transfers easy, secure and fast."
Western Union spent $39.8 million on U.S. measured-media in
2014, up from $16.6 million in 2010, according to Kantar Media. The
company spends about 4% of its revenue on marketing and
advertising, it said on a company conference call.