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The CW Pushes Demon Drink to Promote Reaper

The CW is taking “buzz marketing” literally when it comes to its new show, Reaper. The network has created a custom drink recipe for the series about a kid who becomes the devil’s bounty hunter when he turns 21.

Beginning Sept. 3 and running through the month (the show premieres Sept. 25 at 9 p.m.), two bars in each of the top 10 markets will get a Reaper drink recipe, related promo goods and a CW-dispatched rep to coordinate the promotion. In New York, Los Angeles and Chicago, 25 bars will run 30-second Reaper spots on their digital TVs approximately 12 times per hour.

So what’s a young adult-targeting network doing pushing alcohol? “We’re trying to stand out in an incredibly crowded marketplace with unique stimulation to the viewer,” says CW executive vice president of marketing and brand strategy Rick Haskins. Perhaps to head off pesky Parents Television Council criticism, the network is supplying the recipe only, not the alcohol. It’s also offering a nonalcoholic version, and instructing reps to limit the alcohol variety to one per customer. “We’re being very judicious,” Haskins says.

The CW provided the following recipe for The Reaper (a.k.a. Big Red):

 1 oz sweet vermouth

1/4 oz dry vermouth

1/2 oz sloe gin

2 dashes orange bitters

Pour the sweet vermouth, dry vermouth, sloe gin and orange bitters into an old-fashioned glass two-thirds filled with crushed ice. Stir well, garnish with a slice of orange, and serve.

B&C staffers have yet to test the blood-hued mixture, but be assured we will do so responsibly.

With Anne Becker