USA Network Draws Advertisers With 'Brandwidth'

USA network has developed a clever moniker that looks to persuade advertisers to pair with the network on more than traditional 30s.

Called "brandwidth," USA hopes it successfully describes "the breadth, depth and creative potential" its brand offers. (The network for some time has used a "Characters Welcome" tagline for its consumer efforts.)

In a multi-platform world, "Brandwidth" would seem to have resonance as a message to an advertiser that the USA brand offers opportunities as it extends from the TV to the Web and into the mobile arena.

As the upfront approaches, the network indicated it will look to build its sales efforts for multi-tiered sponsorship opportunities. For some of its high-profile dramas, it has recently put together sprawling packages that involve a level of 360-degree marketing.

A prime example came last summer with "Burn Notice" and a link with DirecTV. DTV sponsored the premiere commercial-free, had product integration within the content, placed banners throughout the show's Web presence, and branded a mobile game.

USA also gave DTV exposure on the bottom portion of the screen--where network logos reside--as the action continued. So, a "presented by DirecTV" tag and plug for the mobile game ran in a bottom corner, something that DVR-enabled fast-forwarding would not have been able to blot out.

"USA's 'brandwidth' is about the power of our character-centric brand positioning and what it can do to build our partners' brands and businesses in a meaningful way. Our brand, content and platforms are an open invitation for our clients to entertain, engage and dialogue with our audience--our clients' consumers," said Chris McCumber, executive vice president, marketing, digital and brand strategy for USA. Other examples that USA cited of what it calls "brand partnerships" include a link between "Starter Wife" and Pond's, and Alltel-sponsored animated vignettes for "Psych," which ran during breaks as an effort to boost audience retention.

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