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[11/23/04 - 12:00 AM]
CBS's First-Ever Animated Holiday On-Air Promotional Spots to Premiere on Thanksgiving Day

[via press release from CBS]

CBS'S FIRST-EVER ANIMATED HOLIDAY ON-AIR PROMOTIONAL SPOTS TO PREMIERE ON THANKSGIVING DAY -- IN CELEBRATION OF THE HOLIDAYS AND THE 40TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE CLASSIC SPECIAL "RUDOLPH THE RED-NOSED REINDEER"

"Animagic" Holiday On-Air Promos to Feature Rudolph, Sam the Snowman And the Abominable Snowmonster, Joined by 3-D Hand-Crafted Likenesses of CBS Stars Marg Helgenberger, Kevin James, David Letterman, William Petersen, Jeff Probst, Doris Roberts, Ray Romano and Charlie Sheen And CBS Sports Announcers Greg Gumbel and Phil Simms

CBS's first-ever animated on-air holiday promotional campaign will premiere on Thanksgiving Day. The spots, which feature 3-D caricatures of current Network personalities along with Rudolph and friends, celebrate the holidays and the 40th anniversary of the classic longest-running holiday special, RUDOLPH THE RED-NOSED REINDEER, to be broadcast Wednesday, Dec. 1 (8:00-9:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network.

Rudolph, Sam the Snowman and the Abominable Snowmonster are joined in their "Animagic" world by similarly hand-crafted likenesses of CBS stars Marg Helgenberger, Kevin James, David Letterman, William Petersen, Jeff Probst, Doris Roberts, Ray Romano and Charlie Sheen and CBS Sports announcers Greg Gumbel and Phil Simms for holiday promotional spots on the Network and customized spots for CBS affiliates.

The unique Rankin and Bass-inspired campaign, to run through late December, will also include a two minute, behind-the-scenes making of the unique, elaborate stop-motion Rudolph spots on American Airlines' in-flight broadcast, CBS Eye on American.

"What a great way to involve the CBS family in a special holiday celebration than to tie into this classic animation style for a first-of-its kind promotion. Now, America's Most Watched Network reaches as far as the North Pole in its quest to bring viewers some holiday cheer!," said George Schweitzer, Executive Vice President, CBS Marketing and Communications.

In the Network promos, after the ever-jubilant Sam the Snowman proclaims "This is going to be the best holiday ever, Rudolph." The perplexed Rudolph then asks: "Yeah, but where'd you find those new elves?" The "elves" are, in fact, the "CBS stars" who are helping at the North Pole-based "CBS Holiday Workshop" -- along with the reformed, benevolent Abominable Snowmonster -- before jumping aboard Santa's sleigh.

CBS affiliates have the opportunity to broadcast customized versions of the holiday promotional spots -- and a modified version to promote their local toy/charity drives.

The 8 to 10 inch tall sculpted wax models of the CBS personalities in the promotional spots were based on a series of sketches of each star. Costumers then fashioned appropriately styled fabric garments for each of the tiny figures. The retro stop-motion filming process to create the 30 second Network promo took weeks to complete. This project was supervised by Ileene Mittleman, Vice President, CBS Advertising and Creative Services, and Michael Pollack, Executive Director, CBS Advertising and Promotion

RUDOLPH THE RED-NOSED REINDEER was produced by "Animagic" pioneers Arthur Rankin Jr. and Jules Bass and directed by Larry Roemer. Romeo Muller wrote the television adaptation from a story by Robert L. May. It returns for its 40th anniversary broadcast Wednesday, Dec. 1 (8:00-9:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network. (Originally broadcast on CBS 12/8/72 after an eight year run on another network.)





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