ABC Pulls In Google For TGIT Lineup, Personalizes Cross-Channel Campaign

ABC has been working closely with Google to develop a cross-channel campaign that promotes the return of its Thursday night "TGIT" (Thank God It's Thursday) lineup.

Thursday marks the beginning of the new season for "Grey’s Anatomy," "Scandal" and "How to Get Away With Murder," with the tune-in info stating the TGIT lineup begins at 8 p.m. The campaign runs across Gmail, Google Play, YouTube and Waze.

"Each piece goes through the cycle of how people would prepare for this event," said Ben Blatt, executive director of digital strategy for ABC Entertainment.

The elements of the campaign also demonstrate how online and mobile content can drive television viewership. Gmail users who interact with content from one of the three television shows will see a TGIT-themed ad at the top of the Gmail home page beginning Thursday morning, since most people check email early.



Ads related to the streaming music service will also appear in Google Play.

ABC also worked with several YouTube content creators, and many have a firm publishing schedule. Those who usually publish on Thursday agreed to publish Wednesday and on TGIT -- their regularly scheduled day to publish -- to hang a sign on their YouTube page reading "Do not disturb."

Waze users also will see a message in the app on Thursday evening to "responsibly hurry home, because it's almost TGIT time," Blatt said.

Google's Waze app typically offers location-based advertising. If the user is driving and passes a Jack-in-the-box, the app might serve up a coupon for a hamburger.

Blatt said Google has a lot of data based on content consumption across its network of sites. ABC does not have access to that data. Nor does the network provide first-party data to port into the campaign.

ABC is also working on partnerships to connect the dots between television viewership and engagement with online content. However, it is not available for this campaign, which relies on data that Google has identified based on what people consume, behavior, habits and search traffic. 

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