On Sunday night, Mike Benson has a little more than seven minutes to cap off weeks of work.
The CBS marketing chief will use promotional time allocated to Paramount Global during the Super Bowl to boost a wide range of campaigns he has launched in recent months aimed at getting viewers excited about one of the most unorthodox television seasons in history.
“Think about what we're facing here,” says Benson, a program promotion industry veteran who also worked at ABC and Amazon. “This is the first time since 1954 that a broadcast network has launched a season outside of the fall,” due to recent Hollywood talent strikes.
CBS will use the Super Bowl to tout not only the new drama “Tracker,” which debuts right after the game ends, but also “Ghosts,” “Fire Country,” “So Help Me Todd” and “Young Sheldon.” .” Some of that promotional time will also be allocated to free video-on-demand site Pluto as well as Paramount+, all of which are part of parent company Paramount Global.
Marketing tactics are crucial for Paramount, which has been considered a candidate for acquisition by Wall Street and needs to demonstrate its prowess in getting people to watch its content in significant numbers. “The exclusive broadcast of Super Bowl LVIII this Sunday will be a bright spot for the company at a time when Paramount Global remains under pressure due to its transition to streaming and competition from its declining linear operations,” Neil said. Begley, media analyst. and senior vice president of Moody's, in a note. “Additionally, we think it is likely that there will be more attention than average on the game given that we expect a higher number of non-traditional fans monitoring Taylor Swift sightings, which which should be a boon for advertisers.”
The real takeaway for Super Bowl viewers, Benson says, is that CBS will launch the bulk of its programming in the days following the game as part of a “good old premiere week.”
The hope is that the Super Bowl serves as the final marketing salvo after months of work to get people excited about CBS' programming schedule. Since the cast and writers strikes officially ended in the fall, CBS has been airing recaps to help them remember where their favorite series left off in 2023. During the NFL playoffs, CBS has been airing “first look” footage that offered viewers previews called “stealth endings.” Some acts featured Queen Latifah, Cedric the Entertainer and Iain Armitage speaking directly to the audience – and not in character.
CBS also ran promos touting its Monday and Tuesday night programs instead of individual shows, which is easier to do since a “NCIS” series sequel airs on Mondays and three “FBI” programs air Tuesday.
“We have a lot to do,” he said. And, at least on Super Bowl Sunday, just a little time to do it.