TNT Builds Ties to Hollywood

Turner Network Television is ratcheting up its “Drama is” advertising campaign.

Sources here confirmed that the cable TV enterprise will build upon its successful co-promotions with Hollywood studio movie releases.

TNT’s most recent television spot, built around Miramax’s Kate and Leopold stars, Meg Ryan and Hugh Jackman, drew the attention of other major Hollywood studios looking to showcase their film releases on the cable network, sources said.

“We’ve solicited interest from studios looking to partner with the ‘Drama is’ franchise as a national platform to help launch upcoming films,” said Scott Safon, TNT’s senior vice president of marketing.

The Ryan-Jackman spot, which follows promos featuring stars like Whoopi Goldberg, Helen Mirren, William H. Macy, Carrie Fisher and Dennis Hopper, is running across multiple Turner networks as well as spot broadcast and cable outlets throughout the U.S.

” ‘Drama is’ was de-signed to introduce television audiences to TNT’s positioning as a network that knows dramatic entertainment,” said Safon. “Over the last months, we’ve been surprised at audience response to the campaign’s informality, likability and accessibility. The numbers have been very positive.”

Nielsen Media Research statistics for fourth-quarter 2001 indicate TNT is the No. 1 cable television venue for dramatic fare. Those figures include programming on both basic and premium channels.

Network sources also confirmed last week that TNT will continue its relationship with Goodby, Silverstein & Partners in San Francisco, which pioneered the campaign last summer. Since then, TNT’s On-Air Creative department has produced many of the spots.

“We know drama” is the campaign’s tagline.

Another key to the success of “Drama is” is the use of unexpected and appealing on-camera talent, in some cases individuals far removed from Hollywood.

For example, Nascar champion Jeff Gordon finds drama “at every turn.” For Andre Agassi and Pete Sampras, “drama” is a face-off on a tennis court. Even Los Angeles Laker Shaquille O’Neal weighed in with a definition of dramaturgy.

The campaign includes media buys on network and spot television outlets, but more typically cross-markets with other TNT offerings. Gordon’s spot, for example, ran in conjunction with TNT’s first broadcast of a Nascar race.