Scoring Martha Stewart is a big deal for Hallmark Channel. So big, that it has unleashed a cross-platformed, multimillion dollar marketing effort -- the largest in the network's history. The push signals a new daytime direction for the family-oriented channel, anchored by the sixth season of "Martha Stewart Living," which begins Sept. 13.
"The Martha Stewart Show," distributed by NBC Universal Domestic Television, announced the Hallmark alliance in January. A big reason for the partnership, according to Charles A. Koppelman, executive chairman of MSLO, was poor syndication performance. For the "Martha" syndie run, TV stations were increasingly moving the show to overnight or other time periods starting next year. A lack of consistent airings was adversely impacting ad sales.
Koppleman said then the new relationship "greatly extends our media platform and reach."
Susanne McAvoy, senior vice president of marketing for Hallmark Channel, calls the alliance "a game-changer." To ensure its new cable home reaches Stewart's core audience, she says the new marketing campaign "signifies the magnitude of our commitment to this launch." It's anchored by a new tagline: "Make The Move With Martha." In fact, it's all Martha, all the time, daytime wise.
Hallmark's new block of lifestyle programming from Stewart's Omnimedia airs Monday-Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. In addition to the domestic diva, new shows include "Mad Hungry with Lucinda Scala Quinn" and "Whatever with Alexis and Jennifer."
The cross-platform effort embraces national paid media, out-of-home placed-based ads, sponsorships, sweepstakes, Web sites, social media and a running stunt with all-female running organizations in 26 cities.
Key retail partners, such as Macy's, Home Depot and PetSmart, will push in-store signage, online visibility and OOH efforts. MLSLO is also promoting multiple Facebook pages and communicating with Stewart's nearly 2 million Twitter followers. Digital kiosks and billboards will be placed in 105 malls in 19 markets.
"Our goal is to have our message be wherever the consumer lives," says McAvoy.