Richards Breaks ‘TV Guide’ Relaunch—Part II

DALLAS The Richards Group’s $10 million consumer campaign for TV Guide features a reporter for the publication who uses interesting techniques to get scoop on the sets of three TV shows.

The humorous spots, which debut today, star Gordon Clapp of NYPD Blue, Gary Dourdan of CSI and Kathy Griffin of the upcoming Average Joe.

One commercial features Griffin reading a script in a trailer as her makeup is done by someone she believes is a female makeup artist. As the person awkwardly applies the makeup, he sneaks peeks at the script and asks Griffin about the plot. Once she looks up to see the mess of cosmetics on her face, a grapefruit drops from the chest of the artist. As Griffin kicks the imposter out of her trailer, a voiceover says, “With over 300 dedicated reporters at TV Guide, you miss nothing because we see everything.” The new tagline is, “We see everything.”

As reported on on Friday, the national effort promotes the relaunch of TV Guide, which occurs today. It follows the $5 million trade push that broke in mid-July and targeted the advertising and entertainment industries [Adweek Online, July 14]. That work consisted of outdoor and print ads that used lines such as, “Like everyone else, we’re having a little work done.”

The Dallas agency won the New York-based client’s $20 million ad account in March. Billings for the consumer effort were undisclosed.

Though TV Guide still ranks third among major magazines, the weekly’s circulation has dropped 30 percent during the past five years to about 9 million, according to the Audit Bureau of Circulations. The magazine’s ad pages were down 11 percent last year to 2,458, according to Publishers Information Bureau/CMR.

Efforts to turn around TV Guide were initiated with the appointment of John Loughlin as president of the TV Guide Publishing Group last September. Earlier this year, Loughlin hired Scott Crystal as svp and publisher, Chuck Cordray as vp of consumer marketing and Michael Lafavore as editor-in-chief.

The new work is TV Guide‘s first consumer ad campaign in more than a decade and is designed to reflect the magazine’s “new personality in an irreverent and refreshing way,” Loughlin said in a statement.

The effort, which includes radio spots, will run through November.

This item has been updated.