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[01/09/07 - 10:39 PM]
BET Networks' Explosive Promotional Campaign Heightens Anticipation for the Wire Premiere on January 10 at 9:00 P.M. ET/PT
The network's multi-platform marketing strategy combines grassroots, off-air and on-air promotions.

[via press release from BET]

BET Networks' Explosive Promotional Campaign Heightens Anticipation for THE WIRE Premiere on January 10 at 9:00 P.M. ET/PT

WASHINGTON, Jan. 9 -- Spearheading the highly-anticipated BET premiere of HBO's critically-acclaimed show THE WIRE is an aggressive advertising campaign sure to draw viewers' attention to its historic debut on January 10 at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT. This multi-platform marketing strategy combines grassroots, off-air and on-air promotions designed to propel the newly- acquired urban drama in attracting a new viewing audience and to make it a top program favorite among current BET viewers.

"BET wanted to produce a unique promotional campaign that maintains the authenticity of the show as well as exudes the 'rawness' that drew millions of television viewers to its original home on HBO," stated Kelli Lawson, Executive Vice President of Corporate Marketing. "We were able to effectively do this through the successful execution of a combined grassroots, off-air and on-air effort that innovatively touched on the various urban themes related to the hit show."

BET Networks reached out to the top urban markets, including New York, Chicago and Los Angeles with an expansive campaign effort that included strategic radio advertising and promotions; outdoor and transit placement, including wrapped transit buses, bus shelters, billboards and phone kiosks; and interactive content placed on a variety of urban and entertainment-based websites, including banners and polls. The cable network also sponsored an exciting THE WIRE trivia contest where participating radio stations gave local listeners clues to the location of BET-branded crime scenes; and the first ten listeners who reported to each crime scene to answer all trivia questions correctly would win a BET "The Wire" gift pack and qualify to win a plasma television.

Coupled with the off-air effort is an innovative on-air campaign that celebrates the arrival of the gritty crime drama coming to BET while captivating viewers to the cable network's latest program offering. In keeping with the gritty images characteristic of THE WIRE, the network utilized original cast members to recreate the familiar look and feel of the popular cable show projected in various 15-second and 30-second promos. Each on-air promo plays on various dramatic themes, such as "Watch Your Back!" where the original THE WIRE cast members are pictured telling BET viewers that the word on the street is to tune in to the show in January or watch your back. Another promo entitled "High Stakes" portrays an underground poker game with high stakes to be won; as the camera pans on each player as they bluff and posture with tensions running high, the scene fades when an aerial shot suddenly reveals the message, "THE WIRE on BET -- tune in on January 9 at 9:00 p.m.".

About BET Networks

BET Networks, a subsidiary of Viacom, Inc. (NYSE: VIA and VIA.B), is the leading provider of media and entertainment for African Americans and consumers of Black culture on a global basis. The primary BET cable network reaches more than 84 million households according to Nielsen media research, and can be seen in the United States, Canada and the Caribbean. BET Digital Networks -- BET J, BET Gospel and BET Hip Hop -- serve a broader and more diverse audience than the core network. BET.com is the number one internet destination for the target audiences. BET Mobile delivers music, gaming, and video content to the target audiences on wireless devices across virtually all service providers. BET Event Productions is a full-scale event management and production company with festivals and live events spanning the globe. Finally, BET International delivers BET content to the consumers of Black culture around the world.

SOURCE BET Networks
http://www.bet.com





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· WIRE, THE (HBO)











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