CNN looks to boomers with new ad campaign

Cabler signs with Hill Holliday

CNN will unfurl a major ad campaign in the second half of May to position the cable newscaster as the “knowledge” source, according to an insider, for a core audience described as “baby boomer opinion leaders” between the ages of 35 and 54.

The campaign, to be backed by a soft drink-sized media budget of up to $25 million, will be the first effort for the Time Warner unit by Boston-based ad agency Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos.

CNN officially acknowledged Monday that Hill Holliday, a subsidiary of Madison Avenue behemoth the Interpublic Group, had won a hard-fought, three-month review that at one time or another included such agencies as the Richards Group of Dallas; Fallon-McElligott from Minneapolis; Saatchi & Saatchi Worldwide; DiNoto Lee; and Margeotes, Fertitta & Partners, the latter three agencies from New York.

Although the review concluded in February, CNN kept the winner under wraps until it signed a contract for creating national broadcast, print, outdoor and online advertising for the Time Warner unit.

CNN handled its advertising inhouse before deciding to look elsewhere to elevate awareness of both the network and specific programs like “Larry King Live,” “Moneyline News Hour,” various “NewsStands” with Time magazines and multi-part documentaries on such subjects as the Cold War.

A source said creative executions will feature both world leaders and common citizens on the role knowledge plays in their everyday lives.