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Viral video spreads to Emmys race

Campaign promotes 'Jeopardy,' 'Wheel'

The viral video craze has spread to the Daytime Emmy race.

Over the past few days, ads on the front page of industry pubs (including Daily Variety) have been directing readers to the Web sites U-gottaseethis.com and U-gottaseethat.com. Ads prominently feature a picture of a YouTube-like videoplayer, along with a vague headline such as “A Winning Pair.”

Turns out it’s all part of a Daytime Emmy push by Sony and CBS TV Distribution on behalf of long-running quizzers “Jeopardy!” and “Wheel of Fortune.” Readers who click over to the sites — “this” for “Wheel” and “that” for “Jeopardy” — will see a slew of current and classic clips from the shows, as well as a link to a specific “for your consideration” reel featuring highlights from the most recent season.

Campaign is the brainchild of “Wheel” and “Jeopardy!” exec producer Harry Friedman and Sony marketing chief Bob Oswaks.

“We wanted to cut through the (Emmy) clutter,” Friedman said, adding that simple “for your consideration” ads don’t work as well “when you have two shows people think they know so well.”

Friedman and Oswaks decided a web-based campaign featuring clips from the show made the most sense. Sony’s digital elves quickly came up with a site design.

“The print campaign is something of a tease,” Friedman explained. “The videos are, we hope, an innovative way to let people sample the shows.”

The Sony-produced quizzers, which are distribbed by CBS TV Distribution, aren’t exactly Emmy underdogs. “Jeopardy!” has won 27 statuettes since 1984, including 11 for best show; “Wheel” has won 5, including 3 for hosting (but, amazingly, none for best show).

The Sony/CBS campaign brings to daytime a trend that began in primetime last year, when a number of studios began offering clips (and even full episodes) for streaming and downloading.

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