Conan, Turner Stars Hit Restaurant Screens

Conan O’Brien and other Turner Broadcasting personalities are hitting the restaurant circuit.

Turner has inked a sweeping agreement to supply content to IndoorDirect, the out-of-home video network located in some of the nation’s biggest quick-service and casual restaurant chains, including McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Hardy’s and Carl’s Jr.

The deal underscores the importance of growing channels like OOH nets as media companies and advertisers try to keep up with consumers in the increasingly fragmented landscape.

Both sides say the deal is unique. According to Holly Wasson, vp, asset management at Turner Media Group, it’s the first time the company has completed a license deal with a single OOH provider that covers its entire portfolio of networks. Given IndoorDirect’s digital capabilities, Wasson said, Turner will be able to supply content that will vary by day and time period on the IndoorDirect Network. For example, Cartoon Network will supply programming on Saturdays and after school, while CNN will feed material at the dinner hour. And O’Brien, of course, will be seen later in the evening.

“We can put the right content, and promotional messages, in front of the right audiences,” she said.

The Turner deal signals a program strategy shift for the OOH network, according to Steven Justman, president, entertainment, marketing and sales at IndoorDirect. Until now, he said, the network has done deals with dozens of content providers, including ones with various sports leagues, music labels and networks such as NBC, CBS and ABC. But none of those deals has covered entire program portfolios, like the Turner pact does. “We’re moving toward a strategy of fewer, bigger, better partnerships,” he said. “Turner being the first.”

IndoorDirect has a monthly reach of more than 15 million diners, per Nielsen. Over 1,100 restaurants are in the network, and that number is expected to double over the next year, per Justman. More than 50 national advertisers currently buy time on the network.

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