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CTAM Live: 'Sopranos' Enters CTAM Hall Of Fame

BOSTON--The Cable & Telecommunications Association for Marketing Tuesday made HBO: Marketing of The Sopranos as its 2008 inductee into the CTAM Hall of Fame.

The cable industry marketing group said that the marketing of The Sopranos was a key driver of the series’ success. For each of the six seasons the mob series aired, extensive multi-tiered campaigns were launched. The cumulative effect of seasons of marketing and publicity support generated unprecedented gains in consumer awareness (92% among subscribers, 86% among the total population) and subscriber growth. Moreover, The Sopranos was the most-watched original series on HBO every year that it aired.

Established in 1997, the CTAM Hall of Fame honors the finest and most influential marketing campaigns that are more than five years old and have had a powerful impact on their companies and the cable industry. The honoree is selected for outstanding achievement by a panel of 25 senior cable marketing and agency executives.

This year’s other nominees: BET: Rap-It-Up Campaign; Fox New Channel: Fair and Balanced Campaign; Nickelodeon: Marketing of Dora the Explorer; Turner Classic Movies: 31 Days of Oscar. (Read more about the campaigns.)

CTAM also said it selected The Sopranos because it generated high viewership on non-linear platforms, with the final season achieving the highest HBO On Demand orders per episode of any HBO series on record. Most importantly, high awareness of The Sopranos along with its robust ratings helped deliver strong subscriber growth and reduced churn.

Additionally, The Sopranos helped define HBO’s brand as a destination for high-quality, entertaining original programming.

In accepting the Hall of Fame induction at the CTAM Summit Nov. 11, HBO co-president Eric Kessler (pictured) disclosed that HBO marketers initially were worried about the series title, that it might make people think the show was “about a bunch of opera singers.”

One suggested alternative was The Family Guy, which would play off lead character Tony Soprano’s life revolving around his wife and kids, as well as his mob family.

“Just as we were seriously considering this alternate title, Fox announced a new animated series with the same title,” Kessler said. “So, while many people were involved in marketing of The Sopranos, no one played a more critical role than little Stewie Griffin. Were it not for this precocious one year old, television history might have been different.”

For more coverage of CTAM Summit '08, click here.