Emmys: Marketing Pact Puts Samsung TVs

Academy strikes deal to show off massive 85-inch Samsung TV as advertiser seeks alliance with content makers

TV’s biggest night will be used to sell TVs.

In its first business initiative under new president and chief operating officer Lucy Hood. the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences has struck a marketing alliance with Samsung Electronics America that calls for the consumer-electronics giant’s smart TVs to be featured prominently during this Sunday’s broadcast of the 65th Annual Emmy Awards on CBS.

An 85-inch ultra high definition Samsung S9 smart TV will appear on stage during a specific sequence of the show, said Peggy Ang, vice president of marketing communications at Samsung Electronics America. The company is sponsoring a “social media camera” that will make images of backstage happenings available on Emmys.com, Yahoo.com and CBS.com

“We think the people who make the content are the people we should be constantly aligned with,” said Ang in an interview. The deal is the first Samsung has struck with an association, as opposed to a media vendor, she said. As part of the deal. Samsung televisions are being featured this week at receptions for nominees, and are likely to appear in digital content associated with this weekend’s broadcast

In an interview, Hood said she was eager to woo Samsung. Given the current flux in how people view their favorite programs, she felt a sponsor like Samsung would appeal to many of the Academy’s constituencies, because its devices help TV fans find content no matter  whether it appears on a traditional TV network or is streamed by a new player like Hulu or Netflix. Hood, a former Paramount and Fox executive, joined the TV Academy in June.

“This is a very wide-ranging strategic relationship and we are looking forward to seeing it grow,” said Hood. The agreement with Samsung is  scheduled to last at least through the next year, she said. Samsung’s Ang said many aspects of the alliance are still under negotiation.

Snagging the Emmys perch could be valuable to Samsung in an extremely competitive marketplace. Market-research firm eMarketer predicted earlier this year that  35.1 million U.S. households would possess at least one connected TV, with at least one person in the household using the Internet through the device monthly.

Samsung hopes its Emmys berth will give viewers the idea that its TV sets can help them find video content no matter where it lies, said Ang. The company has also purchased six 30-second ads from CBS slated to air during the Emmys broadcast designed by Playa Vista, Calif. ad agency 72andSunny with placement negotiated by Starcom MediaVest Group.

Mitch Kanner, the veteran entertainment marketer who now leads West Hollywood, Calif. marketing firm 2 Degrees Ventures, was instrumental in bringing the Academy and Samsung together, said Hood.

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