CW Network



Fall 2007 Launch


CW Network





Product Category:

Entertainment / Culture / Leisure

OOH Format:

Street Level, Transit


United States


The overall objective was to show a spike in viewership over past fall launches. Research had been done to compare similar shows airing on other networks to gauge a benchmark of success. The goal was to outperform these shows. In order to do this, the advertising objective was to place traditional out of home media in areas where each audience lives and breathes. While working to develop an encompassing media campaign under the Fall Launch umbrella for overall media efficiencies, the agency had to be cognizant of each show’s characteristics and assign specific media to individual shows. CW also developed a non traditional campaign that would help target the elusive younger audience where they play.

Target Group:

The CW Network, a recent merger between UPN and WB in 2006, had been struggling to find an identity amongst its core audience. As planning for the fall launch began, it became clear the target audience was younger than most network audiences and therefore consumed media in a different way. The CW needed to develop an out of home campaign that would target the designated audience in culturally relevant areas. The campaign would drive a tune-in message for three brand new shows, anchored by the latest season of America’s Next Top Model.

Strategy and Media Used:

Traditional Out of Home Strategy: Focus on high-impact locations within New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago with large format inventory. To build beyond those impact locations, CW incorporated a layer of street level and transit media into the media mix to increase frequency within each market. The company chose vehicles that showcased the creative and stood out against the media landscape, located in major metro areas in each market. The campaign also matched creative to specific media best suited to each show’s unique characteristics. For example, Gossip Girl was placed on “sexy” large format media in culturally relevant areas, while Reaper executions were in more “grungy” environments that matched the Reaper lifestyle. To build buzz for Reaper’s premiere, the agency created smoking billboard advertising on three structures on the infamous Sunset Strip in Los Angeles. Nontraditional Out of Home Strategy: Work in conjunction with traditional media placements, but go a step further to find the elusive high school/college audience and target them in their daily lives. Gossip Girl: The core audience for this show was female undergraduates and/or recent graduates. To target this group, CW hosted college viewing parties, focusing on sorority houses on 20 college campuses, static signage on college campuses across 30 markets, street teams in the top 10 markets targeting college campuses handing mirrored lip stickers for cell phones, and bar media in the top 10 markets with a focus on the university network. The campaign incorporated the use of Bluetooth for in-window media placements to deliver exclusive content to this tech-savvy demographic. Reaper: Capitalizing on the “slacker” male target who is in college and/or post-graduate, the show’s nontraditional media was focused in areas where the target would be more receptive to seeing and digesting the message. This media included static signage on college campuses with a focus on the laundry room, male-skewed restroom ads across 10 markets, branded drink parties in bars across the top 10 markets serving “Reaper Red Hot” cocktails, and street teams passing out branded Red Hots on college campuses. Life Is Wild: This show was family-oriented and had an animal theme, so the agency placed floor decals in pet stores, had street teams passing out animal crackers at zoos in the top 10 markets, and aired spots on the Channel One network targeting middle schools. Utilizing in-window inventory in Los Angeles, those executions incorporated animal sounds coming out of the advertising displays. As pedestrians walked down the street and saw these huge media placements, they were also hit with the sounds of a stampede, which made them do a double-take. Flighting Dates: August 26 – October 1, 2007 Markets Selected: Top 20 DMAs Out of Home Formats Used: Bulletins, wallscapes/spectaculars, bus kings, transit posters, transit shelters, phone kiosks, in-window displays, mall displays, and alternative media


Both Gossip Girl and Reaper performed higher than any other show in network history, aside from CW’s anchor show, America’s Next Top Model. Gossip Girl was first in the women 18-34 demographic the night it premiered, and the momentum continued throughout the season. After the 2007 Fall Launch, CW became the go-to network for advertisers looking to target a younger demographic. Thanks to press coverage, the Gossip Girl in-window displays received a 4.6% opt-in on average for exclusive Gossip Girl content