WE Says Oui to April in Paris Promo

WE: Women's Entertainment has enlisted Johnson & Johnson — its exclusive network sponsor — and CVS Pharmacy stores to help promote its annual "April in Paris" programming block.

At CVS outlets, consumers will have a chance to win a trip to Paris through entry forms located near in-store displays of J&J's RoC line of skin-care products, and via the drug chain's Web site (www.cvs.com (opens in new tab)). The promotion runs through May 4.

Johnson & Johnson brand directors liked the "April in Paris" theme because RoC is a French product, said WE senior vice president of marketing Lee Heffernan.

WE will support the effort through radio ad buys in eight markets: Atlanta; Baltimore; New York; Hartford and New Haven, Conn.; Boston; and New Bedford, Mass.; and Providence, R.I.

The women's network sought out markets with a large base of female radio listeners and many CVS locations, Heffernan said. The WE promotion also gives radio listeners the chance to win RoC gift baskets.

CVS has 2,000 U.S. stores and a direct-mail database of 2 million CVS ExtraCare cardholders, who were notified of the promotion through a recent newsletter.

In all, CVS estimated it would deliver more than 115 million consumer impressions for the April in Paris promotion, Heffernan said.

WE plans to run an April in Paris programming block each Saturday night this month. The French-themed fare includes feature films, biographies, documentaries and original series episodes.

Although the network has carried April in Paris-themed programming in past years — when it was still called Romance Classics — this is the first year WE has staged a full consumer promotional push, Heffernan said. The network plans to run three major consumer campaigns later this year, she added.

In April and May, WE will blanket New York with an image campaign, to dovetail with the network's first advertising upfront. In the summer, it plans a promotion "where we'll brand our weekends," Heffernan said.

Later, WE will back the fall launch of the off-network series Felicity
with marketing designed to bring in a younger demographic, she added.

Last week, WE said Nielsen Media Research data showed it to be the fastest-growing cable network between April 2001 and April 2002. It added more than 20 million homes during the year.

J&J's exclusive sponsorship of WE expires in the third quarter. The network is already looking at how to make promotions available for other advertising categories, such as automotive, Heffernan said.