Advertisers Expect 'Enterprise' To Be Hit

By Christian
June 5, 2001 - 1:16 PM

In an effort to sell as much ad time during their programming as possible, networks have tried to wow advertisers with lavish upfront presentations and glitzy press kits. Yesterday advertisers fired back, predicting which new Fall TV shows will be successful in winning the audience's (and advertisers') affections.

Advertising agency TN Media is anticipating that Enterprise will be one of the big hits of the season. The agency described the series as the new UPN show most likely to be successful, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

Advertisers produced viewer share estimates for each show that networks will be airing this Fall season. This year, the advertisers' opinion is especially important, as the slow economy has transformed the business of television advertising from a seller's to a buyer's market. Upfront advertising sales are expected to be down at least $1 billion from last year's record-breaking $8.1 billion, and with less competition for ad time advertisers can afford to be picky about the programs which they choose to run their campaigns on.

Besides Enterprise, advertisers were also rather positive about UPN's Tuesday line-up, consisting of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Roswell. But according to Electronic Media, advertisers did wonder how Roswell would hold up against the WB's new 'Young Superman' show Smallville. "Opinion [is] almost evenly divided," the site wrote, "though more than one buyer finds it hard to vote against Superman."

Even while attempting to impress advertisers with its shows, UPN itself will also join this group in the coming months as it markets shows such as Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Enterprise. According to Variety, the network has hired the Endeavor ad agency to create promotional tie-ins that will benefit both the companies that participate in them and UPN's new shows.

Endeavor was only hired last week, but discussions have already been held with companies such as Nokia, Sprint and 7-11. As a result, the Enterprise pilot might get its premiere at a screening sponsored by Sprint, and Buffy might be promoted by a scratch-and-win contest at 7-11. The creative team behind these marketing efforts previously filled the same role for Fox, where they created similar tie-ins for shows such as The Simpsons.

According to UPN, the massive fanbase of many of its shows makes these tie-ins especially interesting for advertisers. "We now have shows with real passionate fans," UPN VP Adam Ware told Variety. "There's a unique opportunity for an advertiser to get involved in a way that's more than a 30-second commercial. Viewers of these shows want to get involved [with promotions.] Our goals match up perfectly with [Endeavor's] track record."

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