NBC's Deal or No Deal, June 5
Who is your client, and what are its media goals?
Ryan Smith: The Wiggles are the "premiere children's entertainment brand in the world," with roots in Australia. Our primary role is to represent them and maximize their visibility during their annual 66-city US tour.
What made NBC's Deal or No Deal such a good hit? How did you pitch the producers there?
Smith: Deal or No Deal is one of the hottest shows on TV, reaching up to 20 million homes. Having noticed how many of the contestants had young children present, I felt The Wiggles would be a perfect fit. I had developed good contacts at NBC's PR office, so I started there and eventually worked with three producers, including the executive producer, before we finally agreed on the appearance and settled on the right contestant.
The Wiggles are very well known in kids' programming. Was there any pitch you used to convince the Deal or No Deal producers that the prime-time audience would be right for them, as well?
Smith: The Wiggles are household names, so we presented them as fitting right into the TV show's audience, which was crucial. Also, their willingness to fly halfway across the globe to be part of Deal or No Deal's first remote broadcast in a contestant's backyard helped.
How did you maximize this opportunity?
Smith: What was originally going to be a 30-second appearance turned into much more. During a break in shooting, I liaised with the producers and put some ideas in their ears, including having The Wiggles go back to the studio to cheer the contestant on. We ended up with approximately a six- to eight-minute piece of prime-time real estate, which is priceless.
What was the impact of the hit?
Smith: The Deal or No Deal appearance helped open many doors because now prime time is no longer uncharted territory. It also provided The Wiggles a tremendous branding opportunity, as well as increasing visibility during our tour. So, the group felt it was a huge success.
Name: Ryan Smith, senior account supervisor, Rob Bailey Communications (Upper Saddle River, NJ)
Placement: NBC's Deal or No Deal, June 5
Pitch timeline: One year