Summertime...and the living is busy

CBS CMO George Schweitzer discusses the process of launching new shows on CBS.

This is when normal people take vacation, but in the network TV marketing business, summer is our most intense period.

From May 16 when we announce the new fall schedule at our Upfront presentation to September 24, premiere week, we are laser focused on one thing: launching our new shows.

The process starts with watching pilots, meeting with producers and programmers, listening to research findings, and then translating all that into the science and art of entertainment marketing campaigns.

On-air promotional spots, print ads (see my previous blog post ) radio spots, billboards, digital campaigns, interactive displays -- you name it, we're doing it. And there's as much strategy in the media that we buy as there is in the ad creative itself.



Watch the show previews on CBS.com.
Watch the show previews on CBS.com.

What's the "secret sauce" at CBS? We're a tight-knit and totally integrated team. Programming, marketing, publicity, and research -- we all work together focused on our message and on our marketing strategy. And when it comes to the constantly changing world of tech, we all understand that technology serves our programming, not the other way around. People watch shows, not platforms!

To get them to watch, we harness the momentum from our very solid returning schedule, so the promo spots about new shows are seen by millions of TV fans. And we bring a huge amount of marketing muscle to the game using the massive reach of the CBS TV Network, CBS Radio, CBS Interactive, and CBS Outdoor to support fall launches, in addition to lots of off-network media that we buy.

Then our added "secret weapons" are our more than 200 CBS affiliate stations -- they are our local marketing partners on the front lines in communities across America. All of these elements work in tandem all summer long.

Last week we sent out the creative for all of our billboards and print ads. New TV spots are produced every week. Trailers about our shows are running in thousands of movie theaters this summer; that's all part of our strategy for reaching entertainment fans while the Olympics dominate network TV. And as the weeks progress, consumers will be seeing more and more of our marketing messages on every platform imaginable, so get ready!

In addition to placing promos and ads on owned and paid media, there will be apps, tweets, and posts galore in the social sphere. There's a saying in our business: just when you are sick of hearing about something is when it is just starting to break through to everyone else. So get ready, and as always, stay tuned.

About the author

    George Schweitzer's position as chief marketing officer at CBS gives him a unique opportunity not only to observe but also to help shape the ways technology is altering the television industry. A communications major at Boston University who joined CBS after graduation some 30 years ago, George is also an unabashed technology geek who specializes in the latest home automation and entertainment gear.

     

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