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Turner to punch up marketing efforts — Merchandising and Promotions Will Assume Greater Emphasis By Betsy Spethman

CHICAGO–Turner Broadcasting System is marshaling its properties to become a bigger force in mark

“We’re trying to come up with big equity events we can do on a regular basis, like MTV does with Spring Break,” said Lee Heffernan, svp/marketing and promotions.
In the next few weeks Turner starts shopping its first event, for CNN: a news video competition for high schoolers. Plans call for the fall contest to award a scholarship; affiliate tie-ins “can double the value of the promotion (for a sponsor) and give it a grassroots element,” Heffernan said. CNN advertisers likely will have first dibs.
Turner’s 20-person marketing and promotions department also is getting ready to pitch marketers on strategic planning. The department–until now busy mostly with value-added promos for advertisers–becomes a clearinghouse tying together cable networks, MGM’s film library, Hanna-Barbera, video and publishing, the licensing arm and other properties.
It’s working with Bozell to create an integrated promotion for American Popcorn Co.’s Jolly Time brand, giving away a Jolly Time at Jellystone video produced by Turner and Bozell. Yogi Bear–licensed from Turner–appears on packaging, point-of-purchase and FSIs. Jolly Time ads will run on TBS, CNN and the Cartoon Network; the video carries a commercial for that net. The national promo breaks in September; if it goes well, Jolly Time may tie in with the MGM library, said Lou Dzierzak, account supervisor in Bozell’s Omaha office.
“The diversity of Turner is a blessing and a curse,” said Dzierzak. “It can tailor promotions more finely than other media companies, but needs to better coordinate its divisions.”
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