When Regional Goes National: Streaming Service Zeam Launches During the Super Bowl

John Stamos personalizes spots for numerous regional markets in campaign from Known

You haven’t heard of Zeam yet, but after the Super Bowl you most likely will know the name.

Zeam is a new streaming home for news, sports and culture from hundreds of local television stations across the country in one central, highly personalized hub, and it’s free, live and on-demand.

The new service is launching during the Super Bowl buzz period, but rather than buying Super Bowl inventory nationally, Jack Perry, Zeam’s founder and owner, chose to make market buys through Gray TV/ CBS stations in almost every available U.S. market, including paid and organic social/digital, OOH and experiential activations.

The creative for the regional campaign stars John Stamos speaking a message that touts the power of local. That means the creative is personalized for each market, leveraging local addressability at scale to create relevance for hyper-local audiences across the country.

The spots will air during the third quarter of the Super Bowl.

The campaign comes from Known, a media, creative and strategy agency that has been Zeam’s AOR for strategy, creative, paid media and social since last year, when it started working on Zeam’s brand positioning, messaging strategy, identity and design, data science and consumer intelligence, advanced analytics and mapping potential audiences.

“The Super Bowl launch is just the beginning. Jack Perry has one goal: Own local. And we think he’s going to achieve it,” Ross Martin, president of Known, told ADWEEK.

Owning local

Zeam comes from Syncbak, a company that powers many OTT solutions, including livestreaming for Paramount+, Hulu, fuboTV and the NFL. It’s backed by Gray Television, the National Association of Broadcasters and Morgan Murphy Media. Zeam is designed to be complementary to streaming bingers so they can get informed and entertained through their local stations.

Perry’s mission for Zeam is to connect every broadcaster to every viewer, which also creates opportunities for marketers to reach and follow, at scale, local and regional audiences. Zeam has already gotten the buy-in from nearly 300 stations and 30 groups, including Gray, CBS, News Press & Gazette, Hearst and Morgan Murphy. At launch, Zeam will have station representation that covers nearly 80% of designated market areas. 

For consumers, Zeam will give them a local lens into places and events that matter to them. 

“As viewers and the industry continue to migrate to streaming, local television stations need to find a way to build a sustainable business that helps them not just survive but thrive in the streaming age,” said Perry in a statement.

The Stamos campaign

Martin said the Zeam launch is a complex plan that hasn’t been done at this scale.

“Were able to use our technology platform, Skeptic, to optimize media and creative for every local market across the country, which means John Stamos is literally talking to you no matter where you live,” said Martin.

In the campaign, Stamos calls out the locale in each spot, championing the power of local.

Martin joked that Stamos is an “unnecessary celebrity spokesperson. No matter how sexy and adorable and talented John Stamos is—and he’s all of that and more—Zeam doesn’t need him, as he likes to say, because the platform itself is so compelling. That said, John is one of the most fun, hilarious and brilliant celebrities we’ve worked with,” said Martin.

Phase one of the campaign includes a multichannel approach to every market, with TV, digital, social, OOH and experiential activations, including a Zeam360 van that is embarking on a barnstorming tour, stopping at nearly 30 local broadcast stations en route to the Super Bowl to help local broadcast stations learn about the possibilities of OTT.

The tour will continue after the Super Bowl as well. In addition, Zeam has established a studio in Times Square to host local, independent creators and provide a platform for them to reach a broad base of viewers. The studio will also serve as a billboard to promote the power of local to passersby.

“The next two phases of the campaign will showcase some incredible local talent and programming that people haven’t seen before,” added Martin. 

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