House Party, an experiential marketing company whose name is its expertise, staged a series of house parties for the G4 network last weekend to back the new season of "American Ninja Warrior."
About a 1,000 events were scheduled to take place Saturday in advance of the Dec. 8 season premiere. To accelerate the viral nature of the effort, an online community was set up with videos, Facebook links, location information, chats, etc.
Part of House Party's strategy is to recruit brand ambassadors -- in this case, fans of the show who search for real-life ninjas to host the parties, and spread the gospel to friends and family. The hosts are not paid, but receive paraphernalia such as T-shirts and hats to share with guests.
They are also asked to upload photos and video from the parties, and provide other content to the online community.
The G4 network targets males 18-34 interested in gaming and technology, with distribution in 70 million homes. Owned by Comcast, it will be integrated into the NBC Universal portfolio, where it could have some synergies with the SyFy network. NBCU executive Bonnie Hammer will have oversight of G4 and SyFy.
Five-year-old House Party has engineered events for NBC, Nickelodeon, ABC Family and Cartoon Network. It also has worked with Kraft and Johnson & Johnson.