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Displays Regular Programming Through Nintendo Game Template

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LOS ANGELES ( -- In a case of extreme product placement, Comcast-owned cable channel G4techTV literally remade the face of the network for a client
Over the weekend, the network used the new Nintendo gaming system's double-screen format as a template for its regular TV programming. Click to see larger image.

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as it replaced its own screen format with that of the new Nintendo DS handheld gaming system yesterday.

In an extraordinary measure hyping a new product, G4techTV aired its own programming through a double-screen template that mimics the look of the Nintendo DS for 20 hours on Sunday. The move coincided with the weekend launch of the double touch-screen DS, which is expected to be a huge seller for the holidays.

Starcom USA
The split-screen promotion was dubbed "Nintendo DS Day" and resulted from the joint efforts of G4techTV, Nintendo and the marketer's media buyer, Publicis Groupe's Starcom USA.

G4techTV aired its regular programming plus Nintendo-dedicated specials on the top screen. The bottom screen showed game play of Nintendo DS titles, interviews with the developers, launch events and other insider material targeted at hard-core gamers.

"Our audience is used to a multi-screen experience at the same time," said Dale Hopkins, the network's senior vice president of ad sales and distribution. "We hope it leaves an indelible mark on them."

Ads on normal screen
When the network switched from programming to ad breaks, the picture went back to normal and ads ran full screen. Nintendo was the exclusive gaming advertiser all day yesterday.

The network has been aggressively integrating its advertisers into content, and has included marketer logos in the corner of the screen. The channel also has dedicated days of programming to video game titles such as Microsoft's "Halo 2" and Rock Star's "Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas." But it has never remade its on-air look for a marketer before.

"This has become a company-wide initiative," Ms. Hopkins said. "The product lends itself to this kind of cool integration."

The marketer has a significant presence on the network and its Web site. Sunday's stunt was promoted frequently on air on Friday and Saturday, with the Nintendo DS popping up numerous times.

Product demonstrations
In addition to special programs dedicated to Nintendo's newest gadget, the network also aired demonstrations that show how the two DS screens work together. Players can communicate with each other on the devices, via game play and text, much like a Blackberry.

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