Agencies Chase Cable Nets for Branding Assignment

3 Nets Launch Reviews; Offer Prime Creative Opportunities
NEW YORK–Three cable TV
networks–MTV, Sundance Channel and Discovery Health Channel–are talking to agencies about brand-image assignments, sources said.
Although not lucrative, the assignments involve national brands that many observers believe present prime creative opportunities, such as last year’s “Yukka Bros.” campaign for MTV by Fallon McElligott.
MTV, a Viacom unit, has met with DiNoto Lee, New York; Modernista!, Boston; and Crispin Porter & Bogusky, Miami, an MTV representative confirmed.
Next week, the shops and the client’s in-house creative department, MTV On-Air Promotions, will pitch ideas for a brand-image campaign, the representative said.
The winner will “work on this one campaign, but that doesn’t mean they’ll do all our campaigns for the rest of the year,” said the representative. “We do dozens of image campaigns each year and look at agencies all the time. This is nothing unusual.”
Billings on the account were undisclosed. All told, MTV spent $8 million on media last year, according to Competitive Media Reporting.
MTV viewership has skewed younger recently with the rise of such pop groups as ‘N Sync and the Backstreet Boys.
MTV is looking to appeal to the 18- to 24-year-old crowd, a source said.
The Sundance Channel and the Discovery Health Channel also have approached agencies about projects, sources said. Calls to their New York offices were not returned.
A recent TV spot for Discovery Health Channel depicted a woman being treated with acupuncture and touted the channel’s Web site. Overall, Discovery spent more than $18 million on media last year.
Sundance, which spent less than $1 million on ads last year, bills itself as “your 24-hour film festival” in recent ads. K

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