Goodby Trumpets TNT, Olympics

Goodby, Silverstein & Partners leans on drama and comedy, respectively, in new campaigns for Turner Network Television and the U.S. Olympic Committee.

The TNT campaign is Goodby’s first-ever branding initiative for a TV network. It will use the tagline “We know drama.” Ads break June 12 on cable, spot TV and in cross-promotions with TNT sister networks.

All told, media placement, including spots running on other Turner-owned networks, is valued at $100 million.

TNT has used the San Francisco shop for project work, but this time the goal is to rebrand TNT as a sophisticated channel showcasing quality movies and sports.

Actors, filmmakers and athletes such as Whoopi Goldberg, Dennis Hopper, Martin Short and Shaquille O’Neal appear in the spots. Only a handful are breaking now, but as many as 20 may roll out eventually.

“TNT [wants to] act as an advocate for great drama and great television,” agency co-chairman Jeff Goodby said. “We wanted to develop advertising that would capture that. … It’s bigger than just telling viewers what they can find on TNT. It’s giving the network a new personality.”

In one ad, basketball star O’Neal describes drama as “being 6-foot-2 in the sixth grade.” Hopper describes it as a story “with some sort of rhythm to it.” In another, Nascar driver Jeff Gordon describes what is most dramatic about racing.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Olympic Committee has three Goodby TV spots airing ahead of the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City next February. Spending was undisclosed.

In the humorous ads, cardboard cut outs of athletes live normal lives while the athletes themselves are off training. Each spot wraps with the voiceover, “They’re not out there every four years. They’re out there every day.” The ads will air primarily on NBC.

“We want people to better understand that the Olympic experience for these athletes is so much more than what we’ll all enjoy in February,” said Scott Blackmun, acting CEO of the committee.