ABC pumps green into yellow-promo strategy

Alphabet to spend $18 mil saying 'TV Is Good'

NEW YORK — Despite the controversy generated by ABC’s eye-catching, yellow “TV Is Good” promo campaign last year, the network will spend even more, $18 million, to bring back the branding strategy (Daily Variety, May 26).

Alan Cohen, executive VP of marketing for the ABC Television Network, acknowledged that the “TV Is Good” campaign earned negative attention as well as positive attention when it was introduced last year.

However, Cohen said research conducted by an outside firm proved that the ABC campaign succeeded with the network’s viewers. “Most of that criticism came from our competition, who had never done branding campaigns before,” Cohen said.

Last season, ABC spent about $10 million in on-air advertising for the TBWA Chiat/Day campaign, and $2 million more in off-air advertising. Cohen said the off-air will be increased to the $2 million-$3 million range, and the on-air advertising will grow to $15 million-$16 million.

The on-air portion began running this week and the off-air segment will commence in July.

Most of the creative elements of last year’s efforts will return this season, including the bright yellow print ads and on-air spots that featured an irreverent slogan relating to television. A new wrinkle to this year’s ABC promo effort will be brief segments called “ABC’s Cheap Cinema Theater.” The on-air spots use simply drawn animation to condense the plots of films such as “The English Patient” and “Titanic” into 15-second bits.

Last week at the ABC affiliates meeting in Orlando, the network’s stations applauded the campaign’s return. However, some industry observers don’t believe the campaign will benefit ABC.

“Even if it was the highest-visibility campaign of the year, it was negative visibility,” said Bob Klein, president of Klein &, who has created campaigns for broadcast and cable networks.