Fox going yellow for 'Simpsons' anniversary

Network coloring graphical elements in honor of 20th year

Fox is going yellow for the home stretch of its "Simpsons" 20th anniversary celebration.

For the week beginning Jan. 3, graphical elements across Fox properties will turn yellow in honor of Matt Groening's iconic characters. That means on-air graphics, Fox's Web sites, social network pages and special on-air promos -- all in yellow, along with a range of other stunts (such as local Fox news anchors wearing yellow ties).

The move is part of the final push of what's been an extensive "Simpsons" marketing push to honor the series, which concludes with a Jan. 10 one-hour documentary special on the show directed by Morgan Spurlock. Right before the doc, "Simpsons" will air its 450th episode.

"We always knew at the end of the campaign we'd go yellow," said Fox executive vp marketing Joe Earley, who has led the year-and-half campaign. The effort has included on-air scavenger hunts, contests for viewers to create their own posters and "couch gag," and even the "Simpsons" receiving their own postage stamps.

It's rare for a network to put such an extensive marketing effort behind a veteran series. It's not as if "Simpsons" is even Fox's highest-rated program on Sundays (that honor goes to "Family Guy). Earley points out that any uniqueness in the campaign is matched by the show's accomplishments.

" 'The Simpsons' is not only a Fox icon, it's a cultural icon worldwide," Earley said. "For a show to hit its 20th anniversary in today's universe is such a feat, and it still has such a resonance in the zeitgeist. The show has viewers who have viewed it for three generations. Besides, it's such a creative property that it's fun to come up with ideas for it."