This is No Joke: TBS Getting Ever Younger Since Becoming Television�s �Very Funny� Network
Top-Rated Comedy Line-Up and Award-Winning Branding Campaign Combine to Drive Ratings Success and Demo Growth
So young, so fast, so �very funny.� In just one short year since rebranding itself television�s destination for comedy lovers, TBS has accomplished the seeming impossible: it has reduced its median age from 40 to 36. Driven by its stellar comedy line-up of hit shows like Sex and the City, Everybody Loves Raymond, Friends and Seinfeld; popular original series like The Real Gilligan�s Island; and a new on-air look, logo, tagline and image spots, the network has also garnered strong delivery growth among young adult demos.
�On June 4 of last year, we made a promise to young comedy lovers that TBS would be the place they could find the kind of high-profile, popular comedy programming to which they can relate,� said Steve Koonin, executive vice president and chief operating officer for TBS and sister network TNT. �The unprecedented success we have enjoyed the past year is a direct result of delivering on that promise.�
�Advertisers appreciate a consistent environment that delivers attractive audiences every night and focuses on attributes they can share,� said David Levy, president of Turner Entertainment Ad Sales and Marketing and Turner Sports. �Since the launch a year ago, we have successfully been able to monetize the network�s �very funny� positioning with advertisers who are looking to be part of a distinct brand that reaches the key adult 18-34 and 18-49 demos clients crave.�
TBS�s achievements during the past year have come on a variety of fronts, from programming success to accolades from the advertising industry.
- TBS has reduced its prime median age from 40 to 36, a one-year drop never before accomplished in the television industry (Q1 2005 vs. Q1 2004).
- Prime time delivery of adults 18-34 is up 16 vs. the year leading up to the rebranding, while prime delivery of adults 18-49 is up 9 percent.
- TBS ranks fifth among all television networks (broadcast or cable) in reach among adults 18-49, just behind sister network TNT, but ahead of UPN and The WB.
- Indicating a shift �from Mayberry to Manhattan,� TBS has changed its demographic delivery from C and D counties to A and B counties. In individual markets, TBS household delivery is up 7 percent in New York, 10 percent in Los Angeles, 20 percent in Chicago, 29 percent in Philadelphia, 16 percent in Boston and 26 percent in San Francisco vs. the year leading up to rebranding.
- Everybody Loves Raymond delivers an audience whose median age is eight years younger than when the show aired on CBS.
TBS�s rebranding success includes its on-air image spots, which are generating their own buzz, as well as several awards. The spots center on a fictional TBS call center, where telephone operators answer a comedy �help line.� A wide range of callers, unsure if something is funny or not, call in, get their situation evaluated and receive the official decision on how funny the situation truly is. The image spots also feature memorable characters from TBS�s sitcom line-up, including Seinfeld�s Soup Nazi (Larry Thomas), Sex and the City�s Stanford Blatch (Willie Garson) and Friends� Marcel the Monkey. The campaign has won several prestigious awards and notations, including the following:
- The Lion Award at Cannes, a special award given to ad campaigns.
- New York American Marketing Association�s Effie Award, the gold standard for advertising effectiveness and the only national award to recognize creative achievement in meeting and exceeding advertising objectives.
- Listing by Ad Age as one of the top 10 campaigns of 2004.
- Listing by Creativity as one of the top 10 campaigns of 2004.
- Nomination for the top award at D&AD, the toughest and most prestigious British/Worldwide awards show. TBS�s was the only campaign in the world to be nominated for any prize, and one of only three pieces of broadcast work to win from the United States.
- Nomination given to TBS Wings, one of the on-air spots in the campaign, for an award at the One Show, taking place in late May.
Looking ahead as TBS enters its second year of being television�s �very funny� network, the network is gearing up for the second season of The Real Gilligan�s Island, which promises more comedy, outrageous competitions and island hook-ups. The second season of The Real Gilligan�s Island, in which two teams of castaways compete against each other to find a way off the island, will premiere Wednesday, June 8, at 9 p.m. (ET/PT).
In July, TBS is going to give down-but-not-out comedian Pauly Shore a chance to get his career and his mom�s legendary comedy club The Comedy Store back on track in Minding the Store, a show that�s already generating strong buzz throughout the industry. It will premiere with back-to-back episodes Sunday, July 17, at 10 p.m. (ET/PT).
In fourth quarter, Courteney Cox Arquette and David Arquette, through their Coquette Productions, are bringing British talent Daisy Donovan over to these shores for a very funny show that follows the comedienne across the country as she tries to find her own American Dream.
Also coming up later in the year is a TBS partnership with The Comedy Festival in Las Vegas, climaxing with Earth to America, a two-hour comedy and variety special featuring some of the biggest names in the business, set to premiere on the network in November.
Off-channel, TBS is creating an expanded version of its 1-800-TBS-FUNNY hotline, which viewers can call to hear something �very funny.� The expansion will feature more options and comedic sound bites from TBS programs. In addition, TBS�s home on the Web, tbs.com, encourages viewers to write in with their own personal situations, to see if those situations are indeed �very funny.�
TBS is television�s �very funny� network, serving as home to such hot contemporary comedies as Sex and the City, Everybody Loves Raymond, Family Guy, Seinfeld and Friends; high-profile original series, such as The Real Gilligan�s Island, Minding the Store and Daisy Does America; blockbuster movies; and hosted movie showcases.
Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., a Time Warner company, is a major producer of news and entertainment product around the world and the leading provider of programming for the basic cable industry.