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 @ AgentPB.tumblr.com
Contact Neal @ alleged-‐blogger.tumblr.com
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.
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 ©