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Fox is hoping to knit together the seconds-long divide between a TV program and the commercials that support it.
During ad breaks for a few football broadcasts, tomorrow’s run of the Emmys and Wednesday’s season premiere of “The Masked Singer,” the network will kick off ad sessions with special show promos that display artistic renderings of various soon-to-launch Fox programs crafted by influencers using a Samsung Galaxy Note 10, which comes with an “S-pen” stylus. Among the Fox programs getting the sketch treatment are the first-responders series “9-1-1” and the popular music drama “Empire.”
Message - Sale - Darren - Schillace - Vice
“It’s not about the retail message. It’s not about a sale,” says Darren Schillace, executive vice president of marketing at Fox Entertainment, in an interview. “You are seeing an artist start to sketch something and you want to see what’s being drawn.”
Getting TV viewers to stick around for the commercials has become a quest on the order of Don Quixote’s efforts in Spain. In a world where a new generation of viewers has grown accustomed to watching TV programs on streaming services that feature fewer ads – and, sometimes, none – convincing audiences of the value of TV ads has grown more difficult.
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And yet, Fox has reason to continue the battle. Following the sale of the bulk of 21st Century Fox to the Walt Disney Company, executives at the new Fox Corporation are remaking the company’s broadcast network into a place that depends heavily on the type of programming that needs to be seen live, or as close to air as possible. Football, WWE wrestling and a competition show like “Masked Singer” are all part of the new mix, along with scripted programming. All will come with commercials tucked into the proceedings.
The partnership with Samsung “definitely brings additional engagement to the commercial breaks,” says Suzanne Sullivan, executive vice...
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