by: Brian Steinberg
How do you get the word out about Armageddon? The CW is testing a digital outlet devoted to active lifestyles.
To promote “The 100,”a new drama about a band of survivors in a post apocalyptic universe, the CW is tapping Zozi, a digital property that encourages consumers to take part in adventures like kayaking or touring vineyards. Zozi will run a sweepstakes that will end up with 100 people winning custom-designed survival kits, and one grand-prize winner nabbing an all-expenses-paid Amazonian survival adventure in Quito, Ecuador. The effort, which starts today, will last until March 11.
TV networks routinely brag about being able to deliver the biggest audiences of any type of media. But to build those crowds, they often have to make use of niche outlets. “Speaking to a small number of passionate people is better than speaking to a huge number of people who don’t care,” said Caty Burgess, who oversees digital marketing for The CW.
Owned jointly by Time Warner and CBS Corp, the CW has gradually been shifting its programing focus from shows about hip kids in high school or college (“Gossip Girl,” “90210,” “Hellcats”) to dramas flavored with elements of the supernatural, sci-fi and comic books. The network is set to launch a new show centered on the DC Comics character “The Flash,” for example, and continues to air long-running dramas such as “Supernatural” and “The Vampire Diaries.”
In “The 100,” a group of 100 juvenile offenders are dispatched to see if there is life outside The Ark, a spacecraft that carries the 400 survivors of 12 international space stations that were in orbit at the time the earth was decimated by nuclear Armageddon. The kids must determine whether life is possible on the ground once again.
Zozi came to the network’s attention via Ignition Factory, a unit of Omnicom Group-owned ad buyer OMD that devises new ways to make use of media. The Zozi effort is part of a larger promotional campaign that will also make use of advertising in cable, print and radio, said Burgess. Additionally, the CW is making use of Weather.com, which will ask users to predict what the weather will be like in a century’s time.
Zozi will promote the contest to a subscriber base of over 2.2 million people via email along with social posts on Facebook and Twitter (UPDATED, March 6: Zosi said after this article was published that the 2.2 million estimate for its subscriber base, provided by the agency doing the work for it, was “inaccurate” The company declined to provide a new figure, saying only that its subscribers number in the “millions.”) CW will do the same with its social-networking outlets.