TruTV Carves Out Own Identity With First Solo Upfront

By Anna Sekula April 29, 2010, 6:15 PM EDT

TruTV's immersive upfront

Photo: Michael Loccisano/WireImage

TruTV Upfront Presentation
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Attempting to spotlight what its president Steve Koonin described as “one of the biggest success stories in television,” Turner Entertainment Networks held the first standalone upfront for TruTV on Tuesday evening. Pitching the ratings growth of original programming like Operation Repo and Conspiracy Theory With Jesse Ventura, the media company gathered nearly 500 media buyers at Skylight for a brief presentation and a rousing performance by Kid Rock.

For the network's executives, the decision to separate TruTV's presentation from an event for sister channels TNT and TBS scheduled for May 19 was a significant and strategic move. The goal was not only to boost TruTV's standing in the advertising community, but also to focus attention on the distinct character of its reality and documentary-style shows. In tandem with the Turner team—which included vice president of event marketing Janet Abbazia and the project's manager, Margaret McAllister—marketing agency C2 Creative produced an immersive environment replete with brand colors and an intimate stage area.

To drive home its message and give the presentation portion some weight, the overall look of the event was straightforward. There was very little extraneous decor that didn't speak to the network's branding or style, which Marc Juris, executive vice president and general manager of TruTV, defined as “nothing silly or overly contrived.” Tall floral arrangements, throw pillows, and rugs in TruTV's red, blue, and yellow hues provided a pop of color amid the all-white backdrop of white furniture, carpeting, and drapes.

Naturally, the focus of the design was on the stage. David Levy, Turner Broadcasting System's president of sales, distribution, and sports, Linda Yaccarino, executive vice president and C.O.O. of Turner Entertainment ad sales/marketing and acquisitions, and Juris gave a snappy, 30-minute presentation. Mounted on tracks, wall-to-wall LED panels extended the scope of a central video screen and concealed speakers. Immediately following the speeches the panels slid aside, expanding the platform to reveal Kid Rock and his band Twisted Brown Trucker.

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