PBS's New Positioning Campaign Targets Curious Viewers
Independent Filmmaker Errol Morris Directed On-Air Spots to Debut This Summer
NASHVILLE, Tenn., June 11, 2000 - The Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) is set to launch a new positioning campaign this summer featuring the tagline - "Stay Curious. PBS." - along with a series of six on-air promotional spots directed by acclaimed filmmaker Errol Morris. PBS developed the new positioning tagline, its first in five years, in collaboration with the Minneapolis-based advertising agency Fallon. The spots will begin airing on local PBS stations this summer. Judy Braune, PBS's vice president of strategy and brand management, made the announcement today at the PBS Annual Meeting in Nashville. The four-day nationwide gathering of 1,300 public television station leaders concludes tomorrow.
"We've aimed the campaign at viewers who are looking for 'stimulating TV,'" said Ms. Braune. "These people have a passion for learning and seek engaging, challenging, imaginative television - exactly the kind of programming we deliver. The campaign is designed to make PBS member stations the destination of choice for the curious viewer."
The "Stay Curious. PBS." campaign targets those who watch PBS regularly as well as occasional viewers. Beginning this summer, all PBS promotional materials, including tune-in advertising, will reflect this new communications strategy. Later this year, PBS Online will incorporate a "Stay Curious" area within PBS.org. The new initiative succeeds the "If PBS Doesn't Do It, Who Will?" campaign, which launched in 1995.
Bringing the core concepts of the campaign to life on-screen are the segments created by Fallon and directed by Mr. Morris. The filmmaker, whose most recent work, Mr. Death: The Rise and Fall of Fred A. Leuchter Jr., earned significant critical praise, has a long association with PBS. Many of his documentaries - including The Thin Blue Line; Fast, Cheap & Out of Control; Vernon, Florida; and Gates of Heaven - have been broadcast by member stations.
"I have always considered myself part of the PBS family," commented Mr. Morris.
"I enjoyed the opportunity to work with public television again and create spots that capture what's vital and important about public broadcasting."
"It was a privilege to work with Errol," said John Ruppenthal, senior director of creative services for PBS. "Much of his work is about searching and discovering, and he created stimulating, amusing stories reflecting the joy of satisfying one's curiosity."
David Lubars, Fallon president and creative director, believes the initiative highlights the most fundamental qualities of public television. "To us, PBS is unadulterated creativity at its best - quality, intelligence, surprise, humor, emotion and, most of all, a driving curiosity about the way things are," he explained. "The campaign expresses all of that."
Fallon Minneapolis manages the consumer voice of some of the world's leading brands. With billings of approximately $575 million, the agency's clients include, among others: BMW of North America, drugstore.com, EDS, Holiday Inn, International Truck and Engine Corp., The Lee Company, Nordstrom, Nuveen Investments, PBS, Ralston Purina, Starbucks Coffee Company, Timex and United Airlines. Fallon Worldwide is the newly formed second global network of Publicis Group, based in Paris.
PBS, headquartered in Alexandria, Virginia, is a private, nonprofit media enterprise owned and operated by the nation's 34 public television stations. A trusted community resource, PBS uses the power of noncommercial television, the Internet and other media to enrich the lives of all Americans through quality programs and education services that inform, inspire and delight. Available to 99 percent of American homes with televisions and to an increasing number of digital multimedia households, PBS serves nearly 100 million people each week. More information about PBS is available at PBS.org.
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