Brand Experience and Activation > Use of Media

ENTOURAGE AIR

CIVIC ENTERTAINMENT GROUP, New York / HBO / 2009

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Overview

Credits

Overview

ClientBriefOrObjective

When Entourage returned for its 5th season in September, we faced the challenge of reengaging our fan-base after the long hiatus between seasons due to the 2008 writer’s strike. Facing heavy competition from a cluttered summer marketplace, our goal was to develop an innovative promotion that would not only complement a heavy media blitz and drive tune-in among a mass audience (A18-49), but also generate press and positive word-of-mouth. To that end, HBO partnered with Virgin America (VX) to co-promote the launch of VX’s New York to Las Vegas route and the premiere of Entourage Season 5.

Implementation

The promotion with Virgin America entailed re-branding their New York to Las Vegas route “Entourage Air,” wrapping a plane with Entourage artwork and premiering the first episode of Season 5 on the inaugural flight: a first in aviation history! We also supported the initiative with fleetwide promotional activity, including free Entourage episodes and a special “Entourage Class” for first-class passengers to enjoy branded luxury amenities. To kick off the promotion and announce the partnership, we held a larger-than-life, red carpet event at JFK with Richard Branson and the cast of Entourage which brought the season’s tagline, “Live It” to life.

Outcome

The “Entourage Air” promotion and event was a huge success receiving a significant amount of press coverage that garnered over 570 million total impressions (approximate media value is estimated at over $3MM). It also paved the way for a larger revenue sharing deal between HBO & Virgin America. Over 91,000 passengers watched the in-flight episodes during the promotional month and we received over 120,000 sweepstakes entries. In addition, the program delivered an ROI of 5:1 in terms of media value and a total of 6.1 million viewers watched the premiere of the fifth season of Entourage.

Relevancy

In order to break through the clutter and grab the attention of consumers and press, HBO needed to announce the return of Entourage in a big, buzzworthy manner. Virgin America’s hip, aspirational brand image made them an ideal promotional partner for HBO and Entourage. Coupled with the timing of the Season 5 premiere and the launch of the NY to Las Vegas route, the promotion was a perfect fit to announce the return of Entourage. Entourage’s tagline, “Live It,” gave way to a topflight campaign, offering consumers the chance to experience the celebrity lifestyle.

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