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What would happen if you put together an “alleged” master art thief with a top agent of the FBI’s white-collar crimes division and sent them off to solve crime? Welcome to White Collar, part of the A-list programming on NBC Universal’s USA network. Kicking off with great initial viewership back in 2009, White Collar has seen enthusiastic responses from fans and was recently renewed for a fifth season. The lower half of our 18-49 adults demographic is the weakest link, but also our greatest opportunity to boost viewership and ratings for Season Five.

Daniella Zuccheri  SiLA  Spring  2013  

Created by Jeff Eastin and premiered on October 23, 2009, White Collar is the intriguing story of convicted thief and con artist, Neal Caffrey (Matt Bomer), who must cut a deal with Peter Burke (Tim DeKay), the very FBI agent who originally caught and put him behind bars in the first place. Through the seasons, viewers watch a relationship initially built on mutual necessity grow into something much stronger, with a foundation of trust unique to handler and CI. Nominated in 2010 for Outstanding Achievement in Casting by the Casting Society of America, White Collar boasts brilliant leads as well as an incredible line up of supporting actors and actresses that only serve to create a deeper world of intrigue and scandal. st-­‐ harm…be  and   c   d n a   it e  Butch s  with  w …crackle d  characters  sinc  lea matched .   Sundance es   ~L.A.Tim  

Matt Bomer plays Neal Caffrey, embodying the

character like no other could. He has held roles in various TV series, such as Chuck, and he even voices several cartoon characters, including Superman, but Neal is arguably his best role to date. Agent Peter Burke is performed by Tim DeKay, who has acted in numerous TV shows over his career. Tim brings the perfect counterpart to Matt’s character and together they shine on screen. Tim has also had the opportunity to direct two of the episodes on the show.

From Left to Right: Sharif Atkins as Clinton Jones Marsha Thomason as Diana Barrigan Willie Garson as Mozzie Tiffani Thiessen as Elizabeth Burke


As a result of our research, we determined the The largest amount of viewership for White   Collar comes from the 34-49 Adults following target audiences to focus our   demographic. As a procedural show, it is campaign upon:   common to find a primarily older audience.   After some testing and analysis, we found that Primary: Women 18-34    Women 18-34 comprise the next largest section Secondary: Adults 34-49   of our audience. Because our older adults   demo is very solid, we believe that focusing   mainly on Women 18-34 is the best plan for Tertiary: Men 18-34   boosting ratings and viewership for Season 5.   As a tech-savvy and fast-paced demographic   always looking out for something fun and fresh, We will incorporate traditional promos to   maintain consistency with our older viewers but   it is most effective to access this group via social media and digital efforts. Through events also bring in new concepts that will help us   and   contests, we can also target Men 18-34, but reach out to our primary target audience, as well   they will not be our major consideration in this as present an appeal to our tertiary audience.   particular campaign.             Our Resulting Campaign Strategy?          

“The Show You’re A Part Of”

Since the series premiere back in 2009, we have seen a significant drop in viewership, about two million people. The beginning of Season 4 started out 19% below the previous Season 3, and as of Season 4 Episode 13, our average season rating has dropped to 0.95 and we’ve lost roughly 100,000 viewers since the season premiere, a significant portion for a smaller scale show.

We believe a major reason behind this drop is due to a lack of continued outreach to our viewers during season breaks. With this in mind, we’ve clarified a few objectives for this campaign. 1. We will keep this campaign shortterm and purely dedicated to keeping buzz about the show flowing during the season break. 2. We have solid viewership in the older audience, so we will primarily target younger viewers via social media and events/contests. 3. We aim to see a significant increase in ratings/views when the Season 5 premiere plays in July.

Coming into Season 5, White Collar has its primary competition in Pretty Little   Liars, which also airs Tuesday nights at   8Pm   and again at 10pm on ABC. Pretty Little   Liars typically attracts women 18-34, which is the main demographic we are     currently targeting with this new  campaign. There are also many   procedural dramas on air that we compete   with in terms of similar content (Law &   Order, NCIS, Castle, Hawaii 5-O, etc.).                              

White Collar’s main weakness is that aside from Facebook and Twitter, which are regularly updated with fun content from the show, there isn’t enough social media outreach. In terms of connection with the fans, there are many interactive games on the USA network site, but we don’t give enough chances to the viewers to interact with the actual cast and characters. We also lose momentum at the season and mid-season breaks because of this lack of connectivity.

White Collar’s biggest strength is its talent. Fans of the show adore the cast, and the   chemistry between the actors is undeniable.   The characters are visceral and relatable,   and as a whole, the show has a very   recognizable appearance; it has been well   branded. With an excellent primetime slot     and enticing promos, White Collar has done   well.   While Facebook and Twitter are well   maintained, there is much opportunity to     incorporate Tumblr and Pinterest, which have

been largely ignored up to this point. The show has a solid fan base in Adults 34-49, so employing more digital campaigning gives us the chance to access the Adults 18-34 demo. We have a huge opportunity to use the characters as outlets for inciting involvement in the show. Viewers love these characters and are emotionally attached to them. By incorporating events and social media that are “used” by the characters, we can instill a call to action that will keep buzz going throughout the season break.


This particular campaign is going to be four months long plus a week to   make it all the way up to the Season Five premiere in July. The chart above   is a simplified breakdown of when each media or creative outlet will be used   and for how long. Each item will be explained in further detail, but as can   be   seen obviously, the primary focus is being placed upon digital/social media, as well as contests.  

As a smaller cable network, we have minimal monetary resources at our disposal, so we will focus primarily on free publicity and promotion garnered through the events and contests we hold. The main direction our budget money will go is to purchasing ad space online and OOH, as well as paying for Matt and Tim to travel. We will also direct a small fee towards the prizes for the Guess the Gallery and Mozzie’s Hideaway contests.

Estimated Budget: $100,000

Minimal changes will be made in OOH: We will maintain usage of   billboard   and bus stop ads in   three major cities (New York,   Chicago, L.A.). The current one   sheets and billboards feature   Neal involved with some form of    adjusting his tie, or wearing handcuffs. We’ll continue this   theme   but bring in his fedora, a   key element of his character. We will   also carry on the black, white,   blue color scheme. These and   will run through the months of   May   and June all the way up to the July premiere.         Tagline ideas considered:  • Toeing the line comes with   a cost…   •   Crossing the line has never   been more thrilling. •   Sometimes the line   between crime and crime   fighting is perforated.    


Two page spread in April issue, about the fashions worn by Neal   Caffrey in White Collar, with article   announcement space on cover. It   will be something of a follow-up to   the spread done for Matt Bomer   back in 2010.             Push for appearance in “Hottest   Men” lists  for Matt Bomer in the   May issue of Glamour, and the   June issue of Cosmo. Matt has       been featured before by Glamour   back in 2010 and once in Cosmo   Germany in 2012.        

Interactive online banner ads for the NY Times and Huff Post will lead back to the White Collar page on the USA website (in April to inform people of Season 5 premiere date, and the end of June to remind people of the upcoming premiere). TV Guide online ads will be at the end of June and beginning of July.

Articles with actor interviews will be placed in the entertainment sections of alternative papers and will preferably be posted in the mid to late June issues. This will better target the younger demographic.

Promo spots on network will be used to maintain current audience members. During the season break, we will primarily utilize lowerthirds to promote contests and the upcoming season. Lower-thirds will begin mid-March with Law & Order and NCIS marathons that alternately run every other day. We will also use Psych on Wednesday nights at 10PM. Beginning in April, we will use the morning Burn Notice marathons at 11AM on Thursday as well. In mid-April, we will air the 15-second Season Five teaser trailer on Monday and Wednesday for two weeks during primetime. Starting in May, we will air 20-second Season Five character promos on Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday during the primetime schedule. The scheduling for that time has yet to be decided upon so we still have some flexibility in which shows to air it within. The same flexibility applies for when we show the first of two 30-second full Season Five trailers at the end of May, to be shown every other day during daytime and primetime. We will also briefly have two 10-second title promos during Chelsea Lately in the week leading up to her interview with Matt mid-June. During the actual interview, we will air the second new 30-second Season Five trailer that hasn’t been seen before. Chelsea Lately is an ideal home for the promos due to the large audience of 18-34 Adults that watch her show, which is the predominant focus of our campaign. After the airing of the new TV spot, both 30-second trailers will air alternately every other day during USA network primetime up until the Season Five premiere in July.

In order to give viewers and fans the chance to interact with the characters, we will be giving Neal   and Peter personal blogs that will kick off with the     Season 4 finale episode. They will be keeping people updated on different cases that are     happening; these cases will be specifically created   for the blogs, though closer to the premiere they   may hint at upcoming episodes. Also   during this   time, Neal and Peter will smoothly link people to   promotions, contests, and publicity appearances for   the actors.   Each blog will portray that character’s   personality. Neal’s will be very open to discussion of    the cases and he will ask for opinions from followers   and respond accordingly. Peter will be classically   close-lipped about discussing cases, though he will     of course break down several times to ask advice  about how to deal with Neal. Occasionally, the blogs will be hijacked by other characters for some     unexpected fun and various announcements.   In June, Neal and Peter will “discover” each   other’s blogs and begin interacting with each other  up until the Season 5 premiere in July. These blogs    will be promoted in lower thirds starting at the finale   episode on USA network shows, as well as via

Twitter, Facebook, and the USA website.

Contact Peter  @  

Contact Neal  @  alleged-­‐  

Create a painting, sculpture, or something “artsy” that   Neal would want to steal. This contest will occur  during the months of April, May, and June, to have   winning piece run in the show during the second the   half of the season. The piece will be the primary   feature of the episode with artist mentioned and five     runner-ups will be showcased without mention at   some point during the episode. Following this   episode, we hope to feature all six finalists in an  article highlighting upcoming artists to be placed in   Elle Decor magazine, preferably in their February   issue in 2014. There will also be a small paid tune-in     ad at the end of the article to promote the show’s airtime and second half of the season.                                  

What Would

Neal Steal?

Post your best hideaway photos on Tumblr with #mozzieshookup (be creative, think more than just tropical island) that you think Mozzie would like. There’s no limit to how many times you can post. He’ll pin his top 101 favorites to his Pinterest board (updated regularly throughout the two months as entries trump other entries) and the winner will be mentioned by codename (username or other name of winner’s choice) during the Season Five midseason finale episode as Mozzie’s hookup for a getaway he’ll suggest to Neal. The winner and 100 runner-ups that were posted to the board will be given a code to receive a free download of the episode in HD from iTunes. Promoted on USA website, Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook, and in lower thirds on USA network at the beginning of March and running to the end of April to provide enough time to film the scene. Winners will be announced at the end of May.

We will make a proposal to the Ellen DeGeneres Show about featuring Matt Bomer, Tim DeKay, and the   original art thief from “It Takes a Thief”, Robert Wagner.   This   will happen on the third or fourth week of March, and   it will be a special episode that has interview time   for Matt and Tim specifically, and then Robert will come   on and they will be able to watch a clip together,  discuss differences in the show, how there are   similarities between their characters, etc. Ellen has the     benefit of being able to target all adults 18-49 unilaterally with her content, so we can use this to     cover all three of our selected demos.                                      


Chelsea Lately has become a big hit on E! with the Adults 18-34 demographic so we will utilize this to gain visibility for Matt. He will be an interview that she holds at the end of her show and they will discuss possibilities for the upcoming season. This will occur mid-June, and the “What Would Neal Steal?” contest will be promoted at the end of the interview to remind people there are only a few more weeks left to submit. Since E! is part of the NBC Universal family, we will be airing a 30-second promo during the commercial break right before the interview that will be a Season 5 trailer.

Once a month from March to June, “Neal Caffrey” will make an appearance at one of the top art galleries or museums in New York City that is holding a new artist or limited time showcase respectively. It is a great help that Matt Bomer lives primarily in New York so the cost to have him attend the showcases will be minimal. For the first three attendances, Matt will only visit locations within Neal’s tracking bracelet radius. For the fourth location in June, he will go outside of that range and will be accompanied by Tim DeKay. While these events will be promoted on the main USA website, Twitter, and Facebook, it will never be specifically stated which gallery he will be visiting until after the visit occurs. However, the Neal and Peter Tumblr blogs will use a week prior to a visit to allude and hint at where he might be going next. This will give people the incentive to try to guess where it will be. People will be able to submit ideas on Twitter with #CasingtheGallery and the first five to guess correctly will receive a fedora like Neal wears in the show with an autograph from Matt Bomer on the inside lining.

With a streamlined and focused execution of this campaign, we should see viewership in the Women 18-34 demographic increase significantly, as well as maintaining our current viewers in the Adults 34-49 demographic. We want to see fans participating and talking more about the show so we can keep our story going, and encourage viewership to rise. This is the ideal plan to make that goal happen.

Disclaimer All  intellectual  property  contained  within  belongs  solely  to  the  creator  of   this  campaign  and  may  not  be  copied  or  distributed  without  permission.     White  Collar  belongs  to  USA  Network  and  I  do  not  reserve  any  rights  to  the   show  or  its  attached  personalities,  nor  do  I  earn  any  money  from  the  use  of   them  in  this  project.     Daniella  Zuccheri  2013  ©  

White Collar  

Short-term campaign for the break between Season 4 and Season 5