Massive Rome campaign builds buzz for empire everywhere

The second season of HBO's Rome won't be news to Canadian audiences when it actually hits the air on Jan. 14. But with a promo campaign hitting all bases and running live chariots down Bay Street, The Movie Network is throwing everything it has into building buzz for that premiere.

Astral Media’s The Movie Network sent Roman soldiers running charioteer races down Toronto’s Bay Street yesterday as part of a major multifaceted marketing campaign promoting the second season of the HBO series Rome. The premiere hits the 9 pm ET time slot on Sunday, Jan. 14, and the promo campaign includes cinema, on-air TV and radio spots, OOH and print executions, online placements, and the live rickshaw running soldiers.

The Roman chariots will be located at key downtown Toronto locations for five weeks, including the Air Canada Centre, the Rogers Centre, the Eaton Centre and the Entertainment district.

A 30-second spot will run on 276 screens across 33 theatres throughout the GTA until Jan. 19. A 15-second spot will hit digital video boards, along with static Max outdoor billboards and zontals in Toronto and Ottawa, along with 90 wild postings within Toronto. On New Year’s Day, a 30-second radio ad will hit targeted radio stations (including CHUM-FM, CILQ-FM, CFTR, CKFM, CFNY, CJCL and CJEZ) for three weeks. The Rome campaign will also include banner and full-page ads in Metro, 24 Hours, Eye Weekly, Now Magazine, and Movie Entertainment Magazine, from Jan. 10 to Jan. 19. Online promotion includes banner ads (some with expandable leaderboard and video features) on,,, and

Media buys were handled by The Media Experts, and the campaign was created in-house by The Movie Network’s marketing and creative services team. Key messages push not just the series, but the HBO affiliation and the HD availability, with a call to action for potential subscribers. The series itself chronicles the historical events that led to the birth of an empire. The new season (starring Kevin McKidd, Ray Stevenson, Polly Walker and James Purefoy) begins with a frantic rush for position and power triggered by the assassination of Gaius Julius Caesar.