[11/16/04 - 12:00 AM]
Multi-Faceted Promotional Campaign Marks Debut of Sci Fi Channel's 'Earthsea' Original Miniseries from Hallmark Entertainment

[via press release from Sci Fi]




NEW YORK -- November 16, 2004 -- When SCI FI's newest miniseries event, Earthsea, based on the award-winning Ursula K. Le Guin novels, premieres in two parts on December 13 & 14, 9-11 PM (ET/PT), it will be supported by a unique and multi-faceted marketing campaign that engages a diverse range of promotional partners from the media, literary and retail communities. Earthsea builds upon the prior success of SCI FI's miniseries including Dune, Steven Spielberg Presents TAKEN and Battlestar Galactica and stars Isabella Rossellini, Academy Award-nominated actor Danny Glover, X-Men's Shawn Ashmore and Smallville's Kristin Kreuk. Based on the timeless classic A Wizard of Earthsea and The Tombs of Atuan, Earthsea marks the network's first foray into fantasy programming.

"SCI FI has established an impressive track record with our Emmy Award-winning December miniseries. We're excited to expand into fantasy programming with one of the most popular franchises in fantasy literature, and to support it with an ambitious marketing campaign," comments SCI FI General Manager, Dave Howe.

"The collaborative promotion behind Earthsea speaks to SCI FI's unique ability to capture the momentum of the increasingly popular fantasy genre, and to reach a broader consumer base through a variety of promotional partnerships across all media," comments Adam Stotsky, SVP, Marketing, SCI FI.

A major national retail partnership with Borders Group, Inc. builds upon the literary heritage of the classic Le Guin novels. In a unique and unprecedented collaboration Le Guin's Publishers, Bantam Books, Simon & Schuster and Harcourt, will partner in promotion of the acclaimed franchise. Bantam Books and Simon & Schuster are re-releasing Earthsea novels with SCI FI designed cover art. SCI FI/Borders Group cross-promotion includes:

- Co-branded Earthsea/Borders television spots airing on SCI FI over a three-month flight.

- A simultaneous campaign in 1,200 Borders & Waldenbooks retail stores features SCI FI branded displays which the Earthsea franchise and series Soundtrack

- Bookmark give-aways at all Borders book stores

- Earthsea coverage within the November Borders This Month in-store shopping guide, the November Borders Science Fiction and Fantasy email newsletter, and the November and December issues of Hailing Frequencies, Waldenbooks' monthly Science Fiction and Fantasy email bulletin.

- A Borders Group charitable donation to Reading is Fundamental (RIF) in conjunction with the Earthsea partnership.

A special broadband promotion featuring exclusive Earthsea content, trailers, screensavers and games launched on November 15. Supplemental affiliate marketing support includes local market screenings, retail kiosks, co-branded cable modem spots and other incentives. As part of SCI FI's ongoing commitment to education and to Cable In The Classroom, the network will provide affiliates with interactive games and educational resources designed to help students develop media literacy skills.

A companion on-line Wizard Education and Certification Program, conceived by SCI FI Marketing and authored by Paul Kieve, Chief Magic Consultant on Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, goes live in December. Capitalizing on growing consumer interest in fantasy programming content, the site enables Internet users to learn about the history of Wizardry and magic and to hone their craft with special web seminars or "Web-inars" for the purposes of "Wizard certification."

While advertising efforts entail the full range of media outlets including NBC Universal partnerships and conventional TV, radio, print, out-of-home and online buys, special emphasis is being placed on ancillary promotions. A special three-minute Behind-the-Scenes feature will air on 2,600 Regal Cinema screens, in addition to strategic in-theater ad buys.

Additional elements of the campaign include:

- On-air teasers, affiliate spots and "in-production" vignettes airing on SCI FI for three months leading up to premiere

- Cross-channel promotional placements on NBC, USA, Bravo, MSNBC, CNBC and TRIO

- Ad placement on MTV, TNT, TBS, Comedy Central, VH-1, FX, TLC, E! television networks, spot radio, online, print, and out-of-home outlets

- Promotional placement in Universal Home Video releases Van Helsing and The Chronicles of Riddick and in MGM's release Species

- In-mall advertising in top 10 SCI FI markets

- Electronic Boutique Games promotion in 700 stores in top 10 SCI FI markets, 400,000 branded shopping bags, in-store trailers

SCI FI Channel is a television network where "what if" is what's on. SCI FI fuels the imagination of viewers with original series and events, blockbuster movies and classic science fiction and fantasy programming, as well as a dynamic Web site (www.scifi.com) and magazine. Launched in 1992, and currently in 84 million homes, SCI FI Channel is a network of NBC Universal, one of the world's leading media and entertainment companies.

  [november 2004]  


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