CBS’ intensive efforts to capitalize on its ratings leadership continued yesterday as the web announced a merchandising promotion with Miller Brewing Co. , MCA Universal and the hit series “Northern Exposure.”

The promotion — which ties the show’s Alaska setting to the Miller Genuine Draft slogan “The world is a very cool place”– will run during Miller’s biggest selling season in late June and July in stores and bars and on-air at CBS.

Although the web will be airing repeats during the campaign, it will pitch CBS’ summer schedule as “a very cool place to be,” said George Schweitzer, CBS senior VP of marketing.

The on-site materials include a simulated big-screen TV showing images from Miller Genuine Draft and “Exposure”; an inflatable moose and a jukebox shell similar to the one in the Brick (the bar on the show). People will be offered a discount on CDs featuring music from the show and the Genuine Draft ad campaign. The promotion will also tie in with MCA Universal, which ran a successful experimental merchandising campaign last November of “Exposure” sweatshirts, Schweitzer said.

“‘Northern Exposure’ has the kind of viewer loyalty we’re looking for,” said Robert Ward, director of advertising services at Miller Brewing Co.

He said there would be no product placement on the show and that there are no plans to use the cast in TV commercials.

Schweitzer said the network hopes to gain new viewers to the series, especially men who may have missed the episodes because they ran against “Monday Night Football.””We are keeping CBS out there any way we can,” he said.

More significantly, the promotion is “tied in to a very generous media buy” that brings Miller Brewing into CBS prime time for the first time, Schweitzer said.

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