CBS Fields New Media Buy: Fields

In an effort to generate water cooler talk for its new shows, CBS has placed its programming brands on, well, water coolers. It recently unveiled plans to crack another new media format: etching promos on eggs. Now the network is harvesting a new, er grassroots media buy, in the hopes of generating some viral buzz for new post nuclear holocaust drama, "Jericho."

"We've hired a crop artist to create field art promoting the show," George Schweitzer, president of the CBS Marketing Group, tells MediaDailyNews.

The artist, Stan Herd, is in the process of carving the silhouetted image of a boy gazing at mushroom cloud in a cornfield in Lawrence, Kansas, the real world setting for the fictional town of Jericho.

The image, which will stretch across 20 acres of cornfields, will also include the words "Jericho" and "CBS."

The stunt, which is geared to generate both consumer buzz and media publicity, is part of a broader publicity push in the city of Lawrence, which will be renamed "Jericho" for a day-long stunt that may get a state-wide push including the participation of Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius.



"Jericho" will not be the first time the city of Lawrence has been the setting for a network TV nuclear holocaust drama. Lawrence was also the setting for ABC's controversial "The Day After" made-for-TV movie in the 1980s.

Schweitzer said footage of the crop field art would ultimately be streamed online. He said it might be difficult to calculate the media generated by the stunt, but he said he has devised a method for calculating the impact of the egg etchings CBS will use to promote "Jericho" and its other new series this fall. "Each one will generate three exposures," he said. "When you open the carton in the store to check the eggs. When you take the eggs out of the carton to put them in the refrigerator. And when you crack the egg open to prepare a meal."

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