E! goes ‘Kittnapping’ to engage viewers

This season's marketing efforts have audiences searching for the Knight Rider star and uploading photos online, plus an integrated push across major Canadian markets.

Canwest’s E! recently resorted to ‘Kittnapping’ to support the debut of Knight Rider on Sept 24.

To intrigue viewers, the series’ new ‘Kitt’ car was seen at high-traffic locations like the Virgin Music Festival, and the effort also entailed Youtube and cell phone footage driving to an online contest, in which contestants are urged to report sightings of Kitt to eonline.com. The prize? A new Mustang GT Coupe or limited edition Mio Knight Rider GPS unit.

‘We rolled out a unique promotional campaign by making (Kitt) available for fans to see and interact with,’ says Brad Parry, VP of marketing at E! ‘We reached a non-traditional audience through a polarizing event that sparked discussion and ultimately awareness for the show.’

E! is also heavily promoting its two new comedies Worst Week (debuting Sept. 22) and Kath and Kim (debuting Oct. 9), as well as select returning series. An integrated campaign (OOH, print, radio and online spanning four to 10 weeks) began this week in high-traffic locations in Toronto, Calgary and Vancouver, with media buys and creative handled in-house at Canwest and creative execution done by Mississauga-based Mandala Communications. A cross promo with all Canwest’s web properties is featuring major E! shows.