Showtime, Gourmet Partner for ‘Tudors’ Ad Play

Showtime has spattered fake blood around a showcase home, pulled off fake magazine covers and made over a hotel to look like an English castle, all in the name of generating buzz for its shows. (The first two were for Dexter, its series about a crime-fighting serial killer; the third for The Tudors, a show based on the life and loves of Henry VIII.)
 
Now, with The Tudors entering its third season April 5, Showtime has enlisted the promotional prowess of Macy’s, marking the first time the network has used a major retailer to promote a new season of one of its shows.
 
Starting the week of March 23, six Macy’s flagships including its New York City’s Herald Square store will exhibit table settings and window displays that conjure up the opulence of the Tudor king’s reign, and, the retailer hopes, drive sales of the accompanying Waterford crystal and Wedgwood china.
 
The print element is a four-page gatefold in the April issue of Gourmet magazine, which orchestrated the multiplatform deal for Showtime. The ad features an elegant table overflowing with platters of rib roast and cheese, and at a companion microsite, visitors who feel inclined to recreate the feast can look up recipes and click to buy the tableware from Macy’s.
 
The tables and costumes also will be at the center of an event Gourmet is throwing on March 30 at the Times Square HQ of Gourmet publisher Condé Nast.
 

George DeBolt, vp, media promotions and partnership marketing for Showtime, said the Macy’s tie-in offered the retailer a way to drive store traffic while stretching his marketing dollars.
 
“We are feeling the pinch like everybody else,” DeBolt said. “This was a way for me to get much more exposure without having to pay out a lot of cash in buying media.”
 
The gatefold also added some needed heft to Gourmet, whose pages are down 44.8 percent to 148 this year through the April issue, according to the Mediaweek Monitor.
 
“We knew Tudor was a perfect target for us,” said Nancy Berger Cardone, vp, publisher of the epicurean title. “We certainly do lot of editorial on London and England, so it felt right.”