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IFC’s Summer of Buzz

5/29/2005 8:00 PM Eastern

Independent Film Channel will look to generate some buzz this summer with a marketing campaign that will include models wearing nothing but bikinis and body paint, fliers hung on the walls of punk-rock clubs and traditional print, radio and outdoor ads.

The campaign, designed to promote the “Summer of IFC,” will trumpet the network’s themed monthly original programming premieres.

“We’ve been building the brand for a year, and redefining it under [the slogan] 'TV Uncut,’ ” said IFC senior vice president of marketing Jennifer Caserta. “We’re now getting it to a point where IFC is not just a cable network, but a fully realized brand.”

To promote “Pulp Indies Month” in June, IFC plans to hire four models who’ll cruise the streets of New York in a 1963 Lincoln convertible. Decked out in bikinis and body paint that will resemble the suits worn by the cast of Quentin Tarantino’s Reservoir Dogs, the models will stop by Penn Station, Times Square and the offices of TV-business magazines.

Movies that will premiere during “Pulp Month” include Reservoir Dogs, Jackie Brown and Blade Runner. IFC will premiere the documentary Reservoir Dogs Revisited on June 3.

'BUNNY’ IS BACK

IFC will debut a pulp-themed special about the former Fox series Greg the Bunny on June 10, called Fur on the Asphalt: The Greg the Bunny Reunion Special. It also is designed to drive viewers back to the network in August, when the puppet show returns to its IFC roots.

The show’s characters initially appeared on public access before migrating to IFC as interstitial material; Greg ran as a full-length series on Fox in 2002.

The network will also hype “Pulp Indies Month” with a movie-trivia tour called Film Fanatic Challenge Tour, which will feature trivia on attendant films.

IFC’s original programming the next month will center on punk rock, debuting the original documentary Punk: attitude on July 9. The network will tout its punk programming by hanging fliers that resemble band posters in punk clubs, Caserta said.

In addition to premiering Greg the Bunny, IFC will venture into original scripted series for the first time in August with Hopelessness Pictures, an animated half-hour show about a failing Hollywood indie studio; and The Festival, an ensemble comedy told from the perspective of fictional IFC documentarian named Cookie. IFC said Cookie will track a young director taking his first trip to a film festival.

DIGITAL INCENTIVE

Network officials described the “Summer of IFC” marketing blitz as its biggest campaign ever, but the service won’t purchase cable or spot schedules. It will, however, involve an undetermined number of cross-channel spots that affiliates will run in exchange for IFC supplying them with marketing materials that encourage subscribers to upgrade to digital cable in order to get the network.

Caserta said IFC will also rely on “brand advocates” in 15 markets that it has recruited through its Web site. The IFC advocates will be encouraged to send e-mails containing links to video clips of the net’s programming.

 

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