CBS taps Yahoo to promote fall premieres

Campaign to include Web, mobile, messenger assets

NEW YORK -- To kick off fall TV premiere week, CBS has teamed with Yahoo to maximize online buzz for its new and returning shows in what is Yahoo's largest single initiative to-date for any entertainment marketer and the largest premiere week online campaign to-date from CBS.

CBS will virtually "own" Yahoo this week, surrounding online and mobile users across the Yahoo network, including its home page, email service, mobile front page and Yahoo Messenger with CBS marketing messages, a Yahoo spokesman said Monday. Offline, the campaign will extend to Yahoo's Times Square billboard.

Earlier this year, NBC struck a similar deal with Microsoft's MSN to focus more of its digital ad spend tied to the fall TV season on one big digital player.

The CBS-Yahoo partnership is not exclusive. It is expected to generate more than 800 million impressions among adults 25 to 54, according to company estimates. Financial details weren't disclosed. The promo deal was first reported by USA Today.

Adults 35-49 are affluent TV viewers who tend to spend more time on cable and on-demand platforms these days though, said Walter Guarino, an advertising professor at Seton Hall University. "They are the perfect target for several prime time shows, and online may be the best way to lure them back to network programming," he said. 

Added Dave Morgan, CEO of media marketing firm Simulmedia: "The Web broadly, and social media particularly, has become the "water cooler" for modern TV.:

For Yahoo, its "Prime-Time-In-No-Time" recap has been a popular offer, showing its users' interest in entertainment issues, according to Gartner analyst Mike McGuire. "TV and entertainment content have been consistently important topics for Yahoo's audience" and its engagement, he explained.

Both CBS and Yahoo also benefit from a streamlined process in a broad-based promo deal. "This consolidation makes for a one-stop shop and pricing efficiencies," said Ketchum Sports & Entertainment vp Claire Castillo.

Among other things, the Yahoo login page will invite the viewer to sample videos from one of three CBS shows. There will also be week-long "push-down" ads on Yahoo's TV home page -- something no TV network has ever committed to for five consecutive days. Plus, users will be able to share videos from select CBS shows within Yahoo Messenger, and Yahoo Mail inboxes will be teased with floating interactive ads highlighting select CBS premieres.
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