Mr. Stotsky had been exec VP-global brand strategy and market development at NBC Universal's Sci-Fi Channel. He will report to John Miller, chief marketing officer of the NBC Universal Television Group. Mr. Miller, a TV-industry veteran and an NBC executive since 1982, will continue to oversee the NBC Agency, NBC's in-house promotions unit, as well as marketing of other parts of the company, including sports and Olympics, NBC Universal said.
Audiences no longer captive
Mr. Stotsky's promotion is evidence of the new challenges TV networks face in promoting their own shows. Where TV executives were once happy to simply run 30-second promotions on their own air, they are now discovering that getting the word out about their TV shows isn't as simple. More viewers are skipping past ad breaks, and others are watching TV in new venues where on-air promos simply aren't as relevant. More networks are tapping into guerilla marketing and viral promotions in an effort to snag viewers or even get people who are already fans of particular programs buzzing all the more.
With programs such as "Battlestar Galactica" and "Tin Man," Sci-Fi Channel has become a popular part of NBC's cable portfolio. Fans of science-fiction and other cultish entertainment are often the ones who are more eager to embrace newer marketing techniques, including so-called alternate reality games. These efforts tease consumers with an offbeat or mysterious storyline, then ask them to explore it more deeply through the web or at street events.
One project Mr. Stotsky was involved in employed 10-second video interstitials on Sci-Fi revolving around use of the phrase "If." The brief spots functioned as network promos and mini-commercials. An ad for Pillsbury, for example, featured a man taking a whiff of the word "If," only to transform into the Pillsbury Doughboy. Mr. Stotsky helped promote "Battlestar Galactica" in 2005 by screening the show relentlessly, taking cast members to the popular San Diego Comic-Con comic-book industry event and streaming the premiere online. In 2005, he was named one of Advertising Age's "Marketing 50."
Mr. Stotsky joined Sci-Fi in 2001, after serving a stint at WPP Group's JWT as senior VP of the agency's entertainment practice. He has also worked at Discovery Communications' Travel Channel and Publicis Groupe's Fallon agency.