Little blue characters will be taking over some NBCUniversal networks this summer, as the company has struck a deal for Sony Pictures Entertainment's upcoming movie "The Smurfs."
A wide-ranging advertising campaign -- "Channel Smurfing" -- runs across nine NBCUniversal properties and will promote the live action/ computer-animated movie set to debut in theaters July 29.
Custom animation in the campaign will work its way to in-show integration, custom promos, digital extensions and sneak peeks.
NBC has a longtime relationship with "The Smurfs"; it was part of its Saturday morning cartoon lineup, starting in 1981. (Originally, "The Smurfs" started as a comic strip in 1958.) A special 30-second spot will begin July 18 and feature the Smurfs taking over an NBCUniversal control room.
The campaign is running for two weeks and will have messaging on NBC, Bravo, Oxygen, USA, Syfy, The Weather Channel, E!, NBC-owned television stations and the Telemundo local television stations, in addition to other channels' digital properties.
In-show integrations will appear in NBC's "America's Got Talent," where the Smurfs interacted with the show's judges, a vignette featuring Bravo's "Real Housewives of New Jersey," and a Smurfs Character Countdown on USA Networks.
The network is also featuring in-depth profiles of Smurf characters, a special Imagination Transformation on Syfy that brings the Smurfs to life in the vast Syfy white space and custom spots on The Weather Channel.