Upfront Notebook: Reelz Offers a Taste of October

Reelz rolled out the barrel for its upfront presentation Wednesday night, turning Manhattan’s Hudson Hotel into Oktoberfest for media buyers.

Why was Oktoberfest the theme of the party? Reelz CEO Stan E. Hubbard said the network wanted to throw a good party and one of its new shows, Polka Kings, features a band, The Chardon Polka Band, that dreams about playing at Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany.

Bill Rosolie, Reelz’s senior VP of sales, noted that the same popular songs play over and over at most upfront presentations and parties. At Reelz, The Chardon Polka Band played a song about Reelz having “momentum" and the “fistful of new shows” shows on the network.

Rosolie promised that attendees would be humming the tune in the shower the next day and promised that if that song was played at any other upfront, buyers would get their ad schedules for free.

The Reelz event drew a good crowd, an achievement made a bit tougher because FX’s popular bowling party was going on at the same time.

Speaking of drawings, Reelz gave out prizes to lucky media buyers, including a trip to the Oktoberfest in Germany. A GroupM staffer's name was pulled first, but he apparently had a relative at the network and was ruled ineligible. A Mindshare staffer won the prize.