CBS is investing a lot more than $ 42 million in David Letterman.
The Eye Web has produced a record-breaking 80 spots to promote the “Late Show with David Letterman.”
Starting with the network’s telecast of the Major League Baseball All-Star Game next Tuesday, a promo touting Letterman will appear at least once in every CBS prime time show.
In addition, the spots will be liberally sprinkled throughout the web’s schedule building up to Letterman’s CBS debut Aug. 30. Promos also have been tailored for CBS affiliates.
At a Black Rock press conference to unveil the campaign, CBS honchos said the “Late Show” would have at least 67% live coverage and reach 90% of the country.
Upfront sales for Letterman are all but sold out, with the average spot going for $ 30,000, according to CBS senior veep for sales Joe Abruzzese.
Plans for domination
The CBS sales chief added that the network is confident the show would garner $ 100 million in ad revenues, 25% of the $ 400 million in that daypart, its first season.
“The Letterman spots will dominate the network throughout the summer,” said George Schweitzer, senior vice president/marketing and communications, CBS Broadcast Group.
Built around the theme of “Same Dave. Better Time,” the spots consist primarily of Letterman touting his new show with his trademark wise-guy humor.
Set against a black and white background featuring the CBS Eye, Letterman tells viewers, among other things, that if they remove the glass on their TVs they can feed him peanuts and that they should really clean up their living rooms.
In other spots, he touts his show as “the miniseries that never ends” and in classic form takes a dig at his new bosses, rhetorically asking viewers if they don’t think “that CBS eye is kind of creepy.”
Another flight of commercials features Letterman being interviewed by an off-camera reporter.
In one of these, Letterman confides, “I have lousy hair. People think I have a toupee. Why would I pay $ 1,000 for lousy hair.”