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IFC Finds Funny Ways to Push New Comedies

IFC is adding two more off-beat comedies to its Slightly Off lineup Thursday and is doing some unusual marketing to get viewers to notice.

The new shows are Benders, about bad beer-league hockey players from Denis Leary's Apostle production company, and Gigi Does It, about a suddenly rich widow played by David Krumholtz based on his own grandmother.

With Benders, IFC has decided to lean heavily on the passion of hockey fans, according to Blake Callaway, IFC's head of marketing.

"There's a perception they're kind of underserved in their sports coverage," Callaway said. Plus, "it's easier to stand out in a world where there isn't constant tune in advertising."

The campaign using the clever tagline "No Regretzkies" is running during hockey on, and YouTube hockey videos, as well as, outdoor ads at Madison Square Garden in New York and Boston's Prudential Center. IFC bought the back page of the NHL preview issue of Sports Illustrated (hockey gets no respect—Muhammad Ali is on the cover). There is also in-game signage in EA video games.

The network has also put Benders material in bars near hockey arenas and created swag bags for amateur hockey team captains that include stick tape, pucks and beef jerky from Jack Link's.

Jack Link's is a presenting sponsor of the show and is giving away 375 pounds of its products. It is also a new IFC advertiser. "They were interested in getting on board. They know the environment," Callaway said.

The campaign for Gigi embraces the spirit of GOLO—Grandmas Only Live Once—or #GOLO.

That includes enjoying Sexy Seniors Night at the Hunk-O-Mania male strip show. Gigi is picking up the tab for grandmas over 65 who attend shows in New York and Miami.  IFC has created spots for Hunk-O-Mania that have been airing nationally. IFC is also running ads in the Village Voice in New York and The New Times in Miami.

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.