Great expectations


In the early days of television, when each program had one sponsor, exposure even to only one telecast had highly measurable advertising communication and sales effects. The shift to scatterplots, while beneficial in terms of reach and in terms of not pinning commercial schedules to individual new programs which might be pulled off the air, unquestionably also deluded the association between brand and program and resulted in a diminished advertising effect per individual telecast 1. Not so, of course, in terms of Specials. This genre is the one form left in which it is practical for an advertiser to recreate the halcyon days of full or partial sponsorship, and so enjoy once again the full potential power of television advertising. As you know, there are many commonplace definitions of "Specials" within the media and advertising community. Nielsen defines a Special as a program that replaces a regularly scheduled series in a particular time period. Others refer to Specials as annual star-studded events that generate large ratings. However, CBS has developed and expanded, the qualitative definition of this program genre for the 1990s one that goes beyond ratings and time-period placement: We define a Special as "A program that carries with it a special set of expectations." - For the viewer memorable, out-of-the-ordinary programming. - For the marketer programming that is well-suited to achieve marketing objectives such as: - Delivering a target audience - Creating promotional excitement and - A program that is worthy of carrying their corporate identity. This is the area we will focus on in this paper, that of the marketer's expectations.

Thomas F. Delaney


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