In the spirit of holiday promos!

‘Tis the season for holiday promos.

To spread the cheer and allow our shows and stars to make a special connection with viewers, each year we create a new holiday campaign. The 2012 CBS holiday promos feature some of our biggest stars showing their playful sides and wishing health and happiness to the people who tune in to CBS night after night.

This year we also adapted our on-air promos into images that can be viewed and shared online. You can view all of the images here and watch the video below. Take a look, happy holidays, and, as always, stay tuned!

Gearing up for New Orleans

image004_270x304The Super Bowl is two months away, the teams still to be decided, but our CBS team is deep in development on all the coverage, events, and promotions that come with being the game’s broadcaster.
It is the biggest “show” of the year, every year. A galvanizing event that brings all of the country together, in front of the screen. Some come for the football, some come for the commercials, others come for the snacks. We love being part of the tradition.

While the Super Bowl is a marketer’s dream, the game itself is a self-promotional platform. Everyone comes to the big tent to watch. Our goal as entertainment marketers is to use the opportunity to gain exposure for CBS content and brands. So this year from January 28 through February 3, we’re bringing many different parts of the CBS family to New Orleans.

Fifteen different shows from nine CBS divisions will be on site. Among them are staples like “The Super Bowl Today” from “The NFL Today” guys we all know and love. And new selections like “Inside the Super Bowl,” “Rome,” and “Lead Off” from CBS Sports Network, our cable sports network. From CBS News we’ll have “CBS This Morning,” “Face the Nation with Bob Schieffer,” and the “CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley.” Daytime TV hit “The Talk” will broadcast live Monday through Friday, and late-night favorite “The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson” will tape before a live audience for a special edition airing on the night of the big game.

All that plus coverage from Showtime, The Insider, CBS Sports Radio,, and our local CBS Television affiliates throughout the country. Jackson Square, the historic park in the heart of the French Quarter, will serve as CBS command central where we’ll share facilities, equipment, office space, and staff throughout the week. A herculean effort for a herculean event. So as the teams fight to secure their entries to the big game, we continue to build out the sets, the spots, and the programming that will entertain America for a very special week this winter.

Until then happy holidays, and as always, stay tuned!

Curtain up!

It’s here. The week we’ve all strategized and prepared for since May. When America gets to see the new CBS shows for the first time, and gets to find out what’s next on their returning favorites. It’s an exciting time for all of us in the business: the anticipation of a new season ends and the magic begins as the remotes all click on. After all the hype, the attention, and the reviews, here comes the reality: America decides what they want to watch.

What new shows and characters will people fall in love with? What will audiences respond to? We’re about to find out. For those of us in entertainment marketing, it’s a night-by-night grind-it-out battle. Every tenth of a rating point could mean millions of dollars in revenues. Every new show franchise that becomes a hit could last for years and years and become a valuable asset in our content library. The stakes are high. So is the anxiety. But hey, that’s network TV! I’m so proud of what our marketing team delivers, year after year: innovation, creativity, and smart strategy. Here we go! Only CBS!

(Credit: CBS)

To each his or her own (screen)


To launch our new fall television programs, every September we conduct a massive media campaign covering every corner of the consumer entertainment universe. Our goal is to make it impossible for people not to notice our shows come premiere week. And when consumer behavior changes, we adapt our methods of reaching them. So while we still pack the biggest punch delivering our messages on television, we also reach people around the edges on every other kind of media they may encounter during the day. Increasingly, that means reaching people via second screens.

Just last month Nielsen reported that 26 percent of U.S. tablet owners simultaneously use their tablets while watching TV several times a day. And a recent Deloitte study showed that half of those who use second-screen devices while watching television use them to talk about what they are watching.

In the weeks and months to come you’ll see a lot of new promotions designed to help viewers engage with our first-screen programming while using second-screen devices — both tablets and mobile phones.

For example, our Fall Preview Show to be broadcast in prime time at 8:30/7:30 CT on Monday, September 10, will offer a synched second-screen experience called “Fall Preview Plus.” We’ve been doing the Fall Preview show for eight years now, and this is the first time we’re offering a complementary second-screen viewing experience for those who just can’t get enough!

The important thing to remember is that the first screen always comes first. We offer the extra bells and whistles to those who seek them on second screens, but the vast majority of our viewers just want to kick it old school with some great TV, and we’re more than happy to oblige them.

Be sure to check out our Fall Preview Show and Fall Preview Plus (if that’s your sort of thing) and as always, stay tuned!

Summertime…and the living is busy

This is when normal people take vacation, but in the network TV marketing business, summer is our most intense period.

From May 16 when we announce the new fall schedule at our Upfront presentation to September 24, premiere week, we are laser focused on one thing: launching our new shows.

The process starts with watching pilots, meeting with producers and programmers, listening to research findings, and then translating all that into the science and art of entertainment marketing campaigns.

On-air promotional spots, print ads (see my previous blog post) radio spots, billboards, digital campaigns, interactive displays — you name it, we’re doing it. And there’s as much strategy in the media that we buy as there is in the ad creative itself.

2012-2013 Series Key Art

Watch the show previews on

What’s the “secret sauce” at CBS? We’re a tight-knit and totally integrated team. Programming, marketing, publicity, and research — we all work together focused on our message and on our marketing strategy. And when it comes to the constantly changing world of tech, we all understand that technology serves our programming, not the other way around. People watch shows, not platforms!

To get them to watch, we harness the momentum from our very solid returning schedule, so the promo spots about new shows are seen by millions of TV fans. And we bring a huge amount of marketing muscle to the game using the massive reach of the CBS TV Network, CBS Radio, CBS Interactive, and CBS Outdoor to support fall launches, in addition to lots of off-network media that we buy.

Then our added “secret weapons” are our more than 200 CBS affiliate stations — they are our local marketing partners on the front lines in communities across America. All of these elements work in tandem all summer long.

Last week we sent out the creative for all of our billboards and print ads. New TV spots are produced every week. Trailers about our shows are running in thousands of movie theaters this summer; that’s all part of our strategy for reaching entertainment fans while the Olympics dominate network TV. And as the weeks progress, consumers will be seeing more and more of our marketing messages on every platform imaginable, so get ready!

In addition to placing promos and ads on owned and paid media, there will be apps, tweets, and posts galore in the social sphere. There’s a saying in our business: just when you are sick of hearing about something is when it is just starting to break through to everyone else. So get ready, and as always, stay tuned.