Color Me "Blue": Skyy Vodka Partners With IFC

Commercial-free cable nets like Independent Film Channel continue to mine the ranks for new TV marketers.

Skyy Vodka will be the next to team with IFC for an integrated partnership on the network, specifically focusing on its key Saturday-night programming. Like many spirits advertisers, Skyy hasn't done any TV marketing in past years. Now, Skyy joins those who have made the move to television.

Skyy will be a presenting sponsor of IFC's " Blue Room" theme Saturday-night movie programming, starting April 21. The series of independent films includes "Magnolia," "Crash," "Being John Malkovich," "Kill Bill vol. 1," "The Cooler" and "Boogie Nights."

One of the key pieces of the promotions is a co-branded introductory on-screen graphic promoting Skyy Vodka, followed by a Skyy Vodka-branded short film before the main event, which runs commercial-free and uncut.. p> "I don't really believe in product placement," says Alan Klein, senior vice president and partnership and licensing for IFC. "It's about bringing in the brand into the whole creative position. We think it's content in context. Our partners get credit for the piece of art -- and then get out of the way."



Skyy adds to IFC's growing ad list, which includes Acura, Heineken, Red Bull, yellow tail and Target. Those advertisers sponsor different shows on different nights of the week.Target is a sponsor of "Cinema Red," what IFC calls Monday night; Australian winemaker, yellow tail, sponsors Tuesdays, "The Cellar;" and Heineken presents "Grindhouse" on Fridays, IFC's series of B and C pictures. Acura presents the entire Sunday night, called "Sunday Best."

Klein says the effort of the "brand films" is to produce a short movie, with each client's creative agency, into the brand's existing creative.

IFC, like its competitor Sundance Film Channel, is also commercial-free. Sundance has also explored this new ground of sponsorship, specifically with new spirits advertisers that have never had a TV presence. Grey Goose Entertainment is a partner and sponsors "Iconoclasts," Sundance's interview talk show.

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