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Liberty Mutual, NBC in Pact

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NEW YORK NBC has struck a deal with Boston-based insurer Liberty Mutual for a major package of ads across programming tied to Liberty's "Responsibility Project," a multiplatform campaign tying into the themes of its current advertising initiatives.

Liberty ad agency Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos, an Interpublic Group agency here that created the initial ad campaign and developed much of the "Responsibility Project," along with sibling Magna Global, brokered the deal with NBC.

The value of the NBC agreement was not disclosed, but Liberty svp, communications Steve Sullivan previously said the company was earmarking $50 million for the "Responsibility Project" for 2007-08 period. The project includes the NBC programming sponsorship and an elaborate Web site with additional content including a series of short films that all touch on the theme of people confronted with choices tied to responsibility.

The NBC agreement includes two made-for-TV movies for which Liberty will be the name sponsor, ads in the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, NBC election coverage and sponsorship in various NBC digital assets. One of the telefilms, Kings, will air in September. A second film, delayed by the writers' strike, will air in May 2009. In both cases, "Liberty Mutual Presents" will be incorporated into the title.

According to John Dukakis, svp and director of branded entertainment, the agency had considerable say in the development of the film. "NBC, in large part due to [NBC Entertainment co-chairman] Ben Silverman, is really interested in bringing brands into his productions," he said. On the script, Dukakis said, "we were allowed a number of comments, all of which were accepted."

Sullivan said Liberty's goal is "creating a long-term emotional connection to our brand" with consumers. The NBC deal, he said, gives Liberty "the opportunity to become involved earlier in the creative process to support projects that align with our brand message." He also noted that while Liberty talked to several networks, "NBC stepped up, got the concept and ran with it."

Silverman of NBC said the deal "represents the kind of forward-thinking that results when NBC works closely with commercial clients to create customized solutions."