Fox Falls Into OOH

It’s that time of year again when the TV networks pull out all the stops to promote  new fall TV schedules. Fox is tapping into a number of media, but this year it has also increased its use of out-of-home, both for building awareness and to promote tune-in for premiere night.

In addition to using traditional outdoor formats, such as billboards, wallscapes, posters and transit signage, Fox made use of the new scale offered from digital billboards and digital networks to achieve broader reach and for tune-ins on the heaviest day of ad spend for the campaign.

“We looked into more outlets this year. Our decision was driven by the desire to show the full length pilot of Lone Star and Raising Hope where we could,” said Laurel Bernard, svp of marketing for Fox Broadcasting. Fox’s choice to go digital in out-of-home was also supported by the number of digital boards available in major markets and the rise of digital video networks in attractive venues.

Full pilots of both new programs were made available via the Hotel Networks and Princess Cruises. The Lone Star pilot got extra distribution on three airline networks, Virgin, Delta and Jet Blue. Working with print partners Entertainment Weekly and People magazine, Fox used the publications’ VIP panels to send the pilot to a small group of people likely to spread buzz about the shows.

And, in an iPad first, Lone Star’s pilot will also be made available for viewing as part of Vanity Fair’s October issue app, and as a DVD in Vanity Fair issues distributed in New York and Los Angeles.

A big user of digital billboards, Fox heavied up on the medium six weeks prior to the fall season in 12 markets such as L.A., New York (including a campaign on the street-level video nets at subway stops), Chicago, San Francisco, Philadelphia and Seattle. The flexibility of the boards allows Fox to both promote nightly line-ups, do countdowns leading up to premiere dates and support affiliate stations. With Six Flags Media Networks, Fox ran a custom campaign promoting Glee, Raising Hope and Running Wilde across the park’s Jumbotrons and two video networks.

“We have to build awareness, but when you get right down to it, we want to reach people at the last minute. Digital was another way to provide a tune-in message during an actionable time period,” Bernard said.

Malls, Meet Sports Arenas

Access 360 Media, known for its digital video network in malls, is setting out a new strategy to take advantage of recently acquired Arena Media Networks that leverages the demographic appeal of each service to give advertisers a mass appeal buy in the nation’s top markets.

With AMN, Access 360 became one of the newest consolidators in the highly fragmented place-based media business. The acquisition, announced in April, married Access 360’s network in 54 malls with the largest stadium and arena TV network in 50 sports stadiums, including Yankee Stadium, Madison Square Garden, Wrigley Field and Dodger Stadium. Combined, the two networks potentially reach 54 million viewers across 20,000 screens in 100 locations.

At first glance, the two networks, couldn’t be more different. But Art Williams, the former head of AMN who took over as Access 360’s CEO in July, sees two networks that complement one another, offering advertisers a balanced demographic buy in two highly trafficked venues.
“Malls skew 57 percent female, and the arenas skew 57 percent male,” Williams noted.

What’s more, the location of the mall network and the arena network overlap in 19 of the top 20 markets. For example, in New York, Access 360 has networks in five stadiums and 11 malls and in Boston, two stadiums and 10 malls. “We are focused on quality locations and focused on the top 25 DMAs,” Williams said. “Our goal is to be deeper in those markets.” By first quarter next year, Access 360 hopes to add another 15 to 20 locations in current markets.