In its most extensive promotional foray to date, ABC will exploit its connection with parent Walt Disney Co. in everything from Disney-generated mailing lists to signage in Disney theme parks and displays in Disney stores.
But it's not just the mouse that will roar: ABC is harnessing its star power, with a new look, dubbed ABC3D, to build a better branded image. ABC3D features various network celebrities prancing about a colorful three-dimensional model of the familiar ABC logo.
Both efforts represent a sea change for the once-staid American Broadcasting Co., and are indicative of the changes wrought by Disney and Alan Cohen, exec VP-marketing, ABC Television.
"ABC has never done these kinds of things before," said Mr. Cohen, who jumped to the network in March from his long-held marketing post at No. 1-rated NBC. "They might have done one or two, but nothing on this scale."
FROM `TOY STORY' TO MALL TOURS
Among the elements leveraging the Disney connection:
nA 16-page preview guide to ABC's kids show lineup distributed in all 372 Disney stores, as well as window displays for two Saturday morning shows-"All New Doug" and Disney's own "The Mighty Ducks."
A trailer for ABC's Saturday morning kids lineup on Disney's fall video release of "Toy Story."
ABC show previews aired in Disney-owned hotels and on monitors in Disneyland, Walt Disney World and Disney/MGM Studios.
Outdoor boards, posters, and bus and tram cards featuring the ABC lineup at Disneyland and Disney World.
A 16-page advertorial on family-oriented new shows in Disney Adventures and Disney Magazine.
Point-of-purchase displays of Disney's Buena Vista Pictures' films in movie theaters tagged with ABC promos. Movie ads in newspapers will be similarly tagged.
A 12-page guide to ABC's prime-time lineup mailed to Disneyland and Disney World annual pass-holders and given to visitors at Epcot and Disney/MGM Studios.
A newsletter about the ABC lineup mailed to all Disney credit cardholders.
`SPIN CITY' PROMO
On the paid media front, posters featuring new shows will appear in 1,800 grocery stores, and popcorn bags in Cineplex Odeon theaters will feature Michael J. Fox of "Spin City" and other stars.
In a deal with Global Video, ads for upcoming ABC programs will be seen on 2 million rental boxes. Blockbuster Video will run a trailer for the ABC lineup in its stores.
ABC is putting much of its spin against "Spin City," with specially painted buses in New York and a polybagged "Spin City" tease will accompany 200,000 copies of the New York Daily News. An insert in the "Weekend" section of the Sept. 13 New York Times will be an ABC preview guide and, on Sept. 16, a four-page "ABC Today" free-standing insert will appear in USA Today as part of a General Motors Corp. promotion giving away seven Pontiac Grand Prix cars.
`SEVENTEEN,' AIRLINE PROMOS
Among other elements: a mall tour put together by Seventeen to promote ABC's Friday night shows; preview guides in seat-back pockets on American Airlines flights in September; trailers for new shows in theaters; a fall season CD-ROM; a new interactive site, ABC Cybercity, on ABC's Web site (http://www.abc.com); and a previously announced tie-in with McDonald's Corp.
Agencies involved include Grey Entertainment, New York; Dreyden & Petisi Promotion, Westport, Conn.; and Tumble Interactive.