LOS ANGELES: Leading up to the 20th Anniversary celebration of The Simpsons on January 10 at 8pm, Fox turned the network "Simpsons yellow," to drive tune-in for the show. The week capped off a year-long event celebrating the milestone for the longest running prime time series.
"We kicked off the campaign last January 2009, and we had a number of fan events throughout the year," explained Jason Clark, VP of entertainment publicity for Fox. "This was the last week, so we really wanted to drive some more tune-in to Sunday night and what better way than to turn the network Simpsons-yellow?"
The network aired special on-air promos for the show, and added a Simpson graphic to part of the screen. It also worked with affiliates to provide Simpsons-themed assets like yellow ties for the news anchors and life-sized versions of animated news anchor Kent Brockman. TheSimpsons.com served as a home base for the campaign, and Fox updated Twitter and Facebook throughout the final week, as well as during the year-long campaign.
"All of our messages are really to celebrate The Simpsons," Clark said. "Everybody across the globe pretty much knows who The Simpsons are and knows what the show is about."
The network handled PR for the campaign internally, led by executive director of Fox publicity Jill Hudson. It also leveraged a relationship with filmmaker Morgan Spurlock, whose retrospective about The Simpsons will air after the show's 450th episode on January 10. Spurlock participated in media interviews, along with the show's voice actors, producers, and creator Matt Groening.
Additionally, The Simpsons had a presence during Fox Sports NFL games, and the network aired congratulatory messages from celebrities including Ryan Seacrest, Josh Groban, and Anne Hathaway, who guest-stars in the 450th episode.