The Client

What The Brand Needed

To attract viewers back to their series stable, Universal Channel went through a strategic rebranding: changing their logo and CI, while at the same time offering smart new character-driven shows, Rosewood among them. The goal of the campaign was to get people to tune into the new show, as well as increasing reach and viewership of the channel. The approach was simple: making a connection with the audience by leveraging off the star attraction of leading man, Morris Chestnut, and building excitement around the Universal Channel’s tagline “100% Character”.



Our research told us the success of the launch would rely heavily on engaging audiences through an integrated approach. We needed to incorporate traditional PR tactics, a structured multi-platform social media plan and most importantly, an experiential element that drew media interest to the first episode.

We looked at previous series that had starred Morris to see what the feedback and general consensus was around the shows and the star. Foremost among them was that female fans found him exceptionally appealing.

As a large number of South Africa’s entertainment media are female, we knew that capitalising on Morris’s good looks and charm was the natural way forward, but with him based in the US, we couldn’t bring Morris directly to his fans. So we did the next best thing: we painstakingly researched his exact dimensions and created a physical character cut-out as close to life as humanly possible.

The Results

What Happened

In order to connect with audiences in an age of peak TV, we took a simple, straightforward approach to garner media coverage around Morris’ new character: we decided to introduce the star in a media drop they wouldn’t soon forget. A marketing representative arrived at each media house targeted, with a life-size cut out of Morris.

The cut out’s arrival caused pandemonium, and this excitement was great for social media engagement. Journalists delighted in posing alongside “Morris” for their social platforms. The cut out was so successful, we had online fans asking for their own version for their homes (and we’re pretty sure a few of them disappeared mysteriously while in the hands of media).

All targeted media were exceptionally happy with the visit from “Morris” and were only too eager to write about the show and encourage fans to tune in for the launch. The drops also made it possible to build new relationships with media on a personal level.

Journalists delighted in posing alongside
“Morris” for their social platforms.

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