Can’t seen enough of the activity on the red carpet while watching the joint TBS and TNT broadcast of the 21st Screen Actors Guild Awards? AT&T wants to provide an alternate view.
The telecommunications giant will let viewers with digital access see a 360-degree view of red-carpet activity Sunday night as part of a new sponsorship of the cable outlet’s coverage of the event, said Dan Riess, executive vice president of integrated marketing and branded content for Turner, the Time Warner unit that operates the network. The network will run messages with AT&T’s backing of the project made clear that suggest viewers go to the web or a mobile device to see a broader vista.
With their celebrity rosters and impromptu moments, awards programs are proving useful for luring marketers who want to combine traditional media with social and digital. Samsung managed to turn last year’s Oscars into a powerful commercial by paying its media-buying firm, Starcom MediaVest, to get its phones into host Ellen DeGeneres’ hands, where she used to take an on-camera “selfie” with A-list attendees. Viacom’s MTV laced segments from its “House of Style” fashion program into its 2014 “Video Music Awards” broadcast that included nods to sponsor Unilever.
The idea, said Riess, is to put things in front of a viewership that may not be TV’s biggest, but still feels very intensely about the program and will start to comment on it using social media and other digital venues. “People use multiple screens as part of the television experience. That has opened up a lot of advertising opportunities,” he said.
AT&T has sponsored similar opportunities for Turner networks in the recent past, making the 360-degree camera views available to viewers of “Conan” on TBS when host Conan O’Brien took the show to Dallas for a few broadcasts. AT&T, which has not sponsored the TNT SAG Awards broadcast in the past, will also be featured during the program. The company has long shown an interest in using its advertising to get TV viewers to try new and emerging technologies.
Dunkin Donuts will also sponsor the SAG Awards for the first time, Riess said, and will run customized commercials as well as messages that tell viewers the red carpet “runs on Dunkin’,” which echoes the tagline it has long used in commercials.
Returning sponsors to the SAG Awards broadcast include Chase Sapphire, Subaru, Geico and L’Oreal. The credit card has been involved in the nominations leading up to the event. Subaru will have a car featured on the red carpet. Geico will sponsor a countdown clock. L’Oreal has run tune-in promotions for the show.