Pair feeling TBS' 'Payne'

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NEW YORK -- TBS has lined up two major advertisers seeking to reach black audiences -- Allstate and Pine-Sol -- as "launch partners" for its new sitcom, "House of Payne" from Tyler Perry.

The sponsors receive custom on-air vignettes, brand graphics within certain episodes, digital and VOD ads, limited product placement and co-branded tune-in spots and print ads in exchange for "significant" media commitments during the first three months of the show.

"Clearly, Allstate and Pine-Sol are investing in the show not just because it is an original primetime family comedy but also because of its African-American skew," said Katherine Johnson, senior vp promotions and marketing for Turner Entertainment. "They both have very heavy African-American marketing initiatives and (demographic) targets."

The show premiered Wednesday night with back-to-back episodes.

Under the terms of its distribution deal with Lionsgate's Debmar-Mercury, TBS will have exclusive access to 100 episodes of "Payne" through August 2008 with broadcast syndication, led by Fox-owned stations in New York, Dallas, Houston and Washington, following in September. TBS is committed to airing all 100 episodes, for which it paid a reported $200 million, and Allstate and Pine-Sol, a Clorox brand, will stick with the series for the three-month launch period.

Perry, who teamed with Lionsgate on his feature film hits "Diary of a Mad Black Woman" and "Madea's Family Reunion" and has another film with the studio in the works (HR 6/7), serves as director, producer, writer and executive producer on "Payne," his first TV project. Johnson said the series is a "big priority" for TBS, which launched its own multitiered marketing campaign to attract black viewers.

Both advertisers will be sponsoring episodes, clips and interactive digital content tied to the show on TBS.com and TBS VOD during the first three months.

As part of Allstate's sponsorship deal, TBS created custom vignettes featuring two black Allstate agents who have contributed to their communities. The vignettes, hosted by TBS' "Movie and a Makeover" host Mia Butler, will air during the series, and a special "Makeover" episode featuring the insurance agents will air on TBS in August or September, Johnson said. Called the Beyond February profiles in reference to Black History month in February, the vignettes will also be featured on the TBS site, along with links to Allstate's Web site.

"Tyler Perry is known for injecting life lessons into his comedy and really honoring the African-American community as he does that, so I think it's a very nice way to take what is a very funny, comedic family sitcom and connect it to Allstate and their objectives in a meaningful way," Johnson said. Allstate also sponsored "Payne" screenings in several U.S. cities.

While Allstate is not being integrated into the show, Pine-Sol does have some limited product placement due to the more organic fit for a cleaning brand. "The backdrop of the show takes place in the home and, as you would suspect, centers around the kitchen and the family room," Johnson said.

TBS also created custom tune-in spots for the show sponsored by Pine-Sol with a lead-in "Get the Dirt on the Paynes" and the promo immediately followed by Pine-Sol creative content. Co-branded print ads for Pine-Sol are running in Jet, Rolling Out and TV Guide.
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