Frog Wears Kmart Clothes

The WB is adding a whole new meaning to fall lineup.

The WB Television Network and Kmart Corp. have signed a wide-ranging cross-promotion deal in which the stars of WB shows will wear Kmart clothes in the series and appear in ads for Kmart 's five proprietary clothing brands.

The TV ads for the six-week, back-to-school campaign will air on various properties, including Oxygen, TV Land, and VH1. Billboards will go up in Times Square and on Sunset Strip, and print ads will be placed in young-targeted print magazines including Seventeen and People

Kmart will  run tune-in promos for The WB fall show lineup on the TV sets in the electronics departments of its 1,500 stores. The WB will also get its logo on some 200 million Kmart shopping bags.

The campaign is slated to begin July 25 and run through September 16.

No money is changing hands beyond the media buys, but that's a big "beyond." The total ad spend on the back-to-school campaign is in the $30 million ballpark across all media, with Time Warner properties getting several million of that.

Kmart clothing will be worn in a minimum of two episodes apiece in at least five series, which could include Reba, Seventh Heaven, Summerland, Blue Collar TV (which, appropriately, is touting the Joe Boxer Brand), One Tree Hill, What I Like About You, and, most likely, The Mountain.

Turell says that beyond the big bucks media buy, the drawing card for WB was the creative, which he says the network loved. He calls it more like Gap than a traditional Kmart spot, pointing to one spot's stylish tag line, "The In Krowd."

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.