NBC Spends $10 Million to Promote 10pm ‘Jay Leno’

By Andrew Gauthier 

The New York Times

In one of the best scenes in “The Hucksters,” one of the best movies about advertising, Sydney Greenstreet, as the demanding client who makes Beautee soap, tells Clark Gable, as a Don Draper-ish adman named Victor Norman, how to peddle his product–or anything else.

“Beautee soap, Beautee soap, Beautee soap,” Greenstreet intones. “Repeat it until it comes out of their ears. Repeat it until they say it in their sleep. Irritate them, Mr. Norman. Irritate, irritate, irritate them.”

Jay Leno is no soap. And he is certainly no Beautee. But by Monday night, when “The Jay Leno Show” will make its debut, anyone unable to repeat the salient selling points from the NBC marketing campaign–with a budget estimated at more than $10 million–must be in a coma, in hiding or named Letterman. The campaign is being augmented by a free-media publicity push, which has landed Mr. Leno on the covers of publications like Parade, Time and TV Guide. More…