Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Can CW Viewers be Seduced Back to Traditional TV?

All we're doing is kind of mimicking the way our viewers move from platform to platform.

-Rick Haskins, the CW's exec VP-marketing, CW television network

In Brian Steinberg, "CW Attempts to Get Fans 'Cwinging' Between TV and Web," Advertising Age, May 26, 2008

Haskins is justifying a new content-and-ad format that the CW will offer, called cwingers. It is an example of how TV executives have to plan their programming tactics in order to be in sync the Nielsen ratings technology.

Cwingers are video clips that tell a story about CW characters and carry a commercial. They will be told in a serial form, with the first installment showing up on a CW television show. To see the second installment, viewers will have to turn to the CW website-, and they will need to view a CW program on TV again to see the final installment. Although CW executives justify the activity in terms of their audience's cross-platform movement, it seems clear that the goal is to encourage the CW viewers to watch the traditional TV set as well as go to the website. Many of the CW's teen and young-adult viewers have been getting the shows on the web, a problem for the network because they don't get counted in the Nielsen ratings. The CW is hoping that cwingers will lure them back to the traditional home tube. Not all marketing executives are convinced it will work, though. "If you make it hard for me as a viewer, then that's going to be a problem," said Steve Kerho, VP-media analytics and marketing optimization at Omnicom Group's Organic.

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