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Heated marketplace flares at Promax; 'counterpromoting' a controversial trend.

Video Age International Magazine

1 June 1995

Bobbi Fisher of MCA will be work-shopping the Hercules action adventure hour and introducing a new hour companion show called Xena. "The show has been an enormous success in syndication and we want people to know where we are going with the show in the future. We'll be introducing a new companion show that's really a spin-off of Hercules," she said. Fisher's presentation of two shows at once makes the MCA workshop unique: "We'll have the show producers there and we'll give people a little overview of how well the show has done and the future of Hercules. The same producers will be introducing Xena for the first time to the promotion people right then and there. They'll get their first look at footage and the character."

A national approach, rather than the localized marketing approach espoused by others interviewed, was outlined by Fisher for Hercules: "[Stations] get a whole promo package, print and on-air." While the national push is emphasized, Fisher said that doesn't rule out localized promotions. "We also help each local station if they want to do a special promotion. Any time a station seeks help from us we really try to help them out," Fisher maintained. Means of maximizing promotion, such as co-op and other plans for the shows will be presented along with the on-air promos, except for spots for the Xena, which aren't ready as the show hasn't been produced yet, Fisher said.

Fisher explained that the heavy competition introduced by the new 40-channel environment does effect her marketing efforts: "Obviously you really want your product to stand out. The good news is we have a hit on our hands, so it makes it that much easier. When you have an audience already, you want to make sure that they stay loyal and make that audience grow." While Fisher is careful to watch the promos of "like" shows, she said that being overly aware is also a hazard. "I try not to think in a box [about what the competition is doing] because we have such a unique property. I don't think 'Oh well they're done this maybe I can expand on that.' I try to go in a totally different direction," Fisher said.

Fisher expects an excellent turnout among 140 stations that carry the show, each of whom will receive special gifts at the workshop as they have in former years. "Everyone always walks away with something," Fisher concluded.

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