ABC creates mock ads for new show

With a title like “Cougar Town,” a marketer could go nuts with double entendres and risque inferences in the promo campaign for the show.

But ABC is getting crafty with its tubthumping for the Courteney Cox starrer in a way that it hopes will signal that Cox’s character, real estate agent Jules Cobb, is more than just a man-hungry woman of a certain age.

ABC’s marketing team has created mock outdoor advertising materials for Jules Cobb Real Estate (“serving the greater Cougar Town area”) that will run in key markets in spots where local real estate advertising is often found — think bus sides, bus benches and grocery carts. They’re working on a website that will continue the mock agency theme, and they’re planning wrap-around covers for magazines including In Touch and Star, among other initiatives.

“Even though the audience hasn’t seen the show, we knew we could have fun with the idea of turning Courteney Cox into a real estate agent,” said Michael Benson, co-exec veep of marketing for ABC Entertainment Group. “We want it to create some buzz and get people talking about the show” prior to its Sept. 23 bow.

Although the campaign will run in only a handful of big markets, ABC is counting on fans and the Internet to help spread the word.

“It’s important to us that we position (‘Cougar Town’) the right way,” Benson said. “We don’t want people to think that she’s purely a predator. We want people to know that this is a comedy, and that Courteney is playing a professional woman who is a fun and likable character.”

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