Showtime has embarked on a multi-million advertising, publicity and marketing campaign to celebrate the April 18th return of its gay-themed drama, "Queer As Folk."
The cable channel is partnering with Motorola and will host preview-screening events in the Miami, New York, Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles and San Francisco metropolitan areas.
Among the other areas of publicity include a media campaign rollout on cable TV and in mainstream and gay publications, outdoor advertising, cross promotion with the Third Season DVD tour, a multi-city nightclub/DJ tour and promotion on Showtime's "Queer As Folk" fansite found on SHO.com. Television ads will feature on cable networks including MTV and VH1 and print advertising will appear in Entertainment Weekly, Vanity Fair, Interview, Paper and Cargo, as well as gay-targeted magazine such as The Advocate, Curve, Genre, Girlfriends and Pride 04.
Richard Licata, EVP Entertainment Public Relations for Showtime Networks, and his team are spearheading the six-city market outreach and publicity for this season's launch.
"We're hoping to generate print and broadcast media exposure for the fourth season launch of Queer As Folk and for our Showtime network brand," Licata said via e-mail.
Licata said that this sort of grassroots strategy is pivotal for maintaining viewer loyalty.
"Every popular 'continuing story' nighttime dramatic series -- Dynasty, Melrose Place, Beverly Hills 90210, and Party Of Five -- was an expert at reaching out and touching loyal viewers through publicity events and personal appearances," Licata said.
Motorola has signed on as exclusive sponsor of the multi-city premiere tour.
"This sponsorship provides a unique manner for our company to not only reach a key demographic but to also educate our consumers on the importance of diverse programming," Robert Williams, General Manager PCS Retail and co- leader GLBT Business Council of Motorola, said in a press release.
The publicity tour kicked off at the Delano Hotel in Miami on March 26th. The team will be in Gramercy Park Hotel's Cobalt Club in New York on March 31st. The last event will take place at the Regent Theatre and Mondrian Hotel's restaurant Asia de Cuba in LA on April 14th.
Licata said that adequate press coverage for Queer as Folk, whether that is interviews with the talent or Showtime executives, and recognition for Motorola will determine whether or not the publicity tour was a success.