Pond’s Ponies Up for ‘Starter’

NEW YORK USA Network’s ad sales team is adding a new wrinkle to its upcoming miniseries The Starter Wife, signing the Unilever Pond’s skin care brand as the exclusive presenting sponsor of the six-hour Debra Messing vehicle.

Per the terms of the deal, Pond’s products will be integrated into the narrative, and the brand will be included in all show marketing efforts, including on-air and online promotions.

Pond’s also plans to organize a nationwide search for five women who embody what it characterizes as “the Pond’s brand of grown-up beauty.” The five finalists will be featured in a series of vignettes that will air over the course of the miniseries’ run.

Mark Miller, svp, NBC Universal Cable Entertainment Sales, said that the Pond’s brand meshes perfectly with the themes explored throughout the miniseries. “The properties are uniquely complementary,” Miller said. “The Pond’s and USA teams are leveraging that to develop a marketing and programming event that extends well beyond traditional boundaries.”

Premiering on May 31 at 9 p.m., The Starter Wife stars former Will & Grace headliner Messing as a woman who tries to rebuild her life after her marriage to a powerful Hollywood mogul hits the skids. The miniseries is based on the best-selling Gigi Levangie Grazer novel of the same name.