CTV pulls out stops for 'Flashpoint' campaign

Media buys on Facebook, YouTube among efforts

TORONTO -- Canadian broadcaster CTV has launched an unprecedented domestic online promotional campaign to raise awareness for the homegrown cop drama "Flashpoint," which will bow simultaneously Friday night at 10 p.m. on CTV and CBS stateside.

Rick Lewchuk, senior vp creative agency and brand strategy at CTV, said Monday that the interactive push for "Flashpoint" includes extensive media buys on social networking sites like Facebook and YouTube.

The series' banner ads also are cross-promoted across all CTV digital channels to link to the series' Web page for sneak previews.

The offline ads will be tied into CTV's traditional media buys, Lewchuck said. "We're looking at it as strict advertising to build awareness for the show. If the only exposure is the Internet, that may not be enough enticement for people to see the show," he said.

CTV also is promoting "Flashpoint" on billboards and bus shelters nationwide, and via 60-second launch commercials and 30-second teasers on air, with extensive rotation on popular CTV series including "Canadian Idol," "So You Think You Can Dance," and "Law & Order."

"Flashpoint," produced by Toronto-based Pink Sky and Avamar Entertainment, was scooped by a drama-starved CBS during the recent WGA strike.

The Canadian drama about a group of cops modeled on Toronto's Emergency Task Force attempt to negotiate their way out of hostage situations, threatened suicides or other potential conflicts before they spiral out of control.