CBS Spots Court Baby Boomers

Air Creative Campaign Aims to Spice Up Image, Boost Low Ratings
LOS ANGELES–CBS is looking to cultivate a hipper appearance to attract baby boomers with its new fall image campaign. Several 30-second TV spots created by Air Creative Group, Los Angeles, roll out this month.
The spots use a new theme: “Finally, TV so good people actually make up excuses to stay home.” One depicts a middle-aged woman who wins a makeover, a shopping spree and a date with male model Fabio. She turns down the prize, ostensibly to stay home and wash her poodle, but actually to watch CBS. Another spot targets male baby boomers, featuring a guy who refuses playoff tickets and a date with model Cindy Margolis so he can fix his dishwasher. Instead, he sits down to watch CBS.
“The campaign was designed to tap into the smart, funny side of CBS, and to celebrate the baby boomers who comprise much of the CBS audience,” said Stefan Gerber, Air Creative’s president and executive creative director.
A third spot, “Rock n’ Roll,” sees boomers engaged in various sports and leisure activities, with rock songs such as Stairway to Heaven and A Hard Day’s Night mentioned in the narrative. A fourth, “Wag the Network,” depicts young producers using computers to create a formula-driven sitcom for another network.
The ads all use CBS’ continuing tagline, “Welcome home.” Neal McCoy, who is co-hosting CBS’
Aug. 5 broadcast of Countryfest ’98, provides the voiceovers and sings the “Heartland” version of “The address is CBS. Welcome home.” The campaign airs through early August.
CBS spent $53 million on advertising in 1997, third among the major networks behind NBC ($71 million) and ABC ($54 million), according to Competitive Media Reporting. From September 1997 through the end of last month, CBS ranked fourth in ratings in the 18-49 age group, behind NBC, ABC and Fox, according to the Nielson Television Index.
Focusing primarily on entertainment clients, Air Creative Group has also developed work for CBS Entertainment, Paramount Domestic Television, Disney Channel, Warner Bros. Online and MediaOne Connect, among others.
Lowe & Partners/SMS, New York, has also created promotional spots for CBS’ 1998-99 season.