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Inside look at ABC's massive Pan-Am launch

One of the most hyped-up shows of the fall is ABC’s Pan-Am, the hour-long 1960s drama about the lives of the stewardesses and pilots who once made travelling on a plane similar to the way the rich wined and dined on cross-atlantic ships like the Titanic.

Since Comic-Con in July, excitement around the show’s premier proved to be another major opportunity for a television company to leverage social as part of a massive marketing campaign that got both older generations who remembered when Pan-Am existed, to Mad Men-loving, travel hungry younger demos psyched about the new world they were about to enter. Lost Remote spoke with Executive Vice President, Marketing, ABC Entertainment Group Marla Provencio about the thinking, planning and execution that went into the campaign.

Lost Remote: What were the different social components that went into the Pan-Am marketing mix?

Marla Provencio: Our strategy started at Comic-Con. We decided to put a flight simulator in the convention center. We’d have a certain amount of people go into the plane every hour on the hour. We gave away nostalgic Pan-Am bags. All these people started to carry the Pan-Am bags. We had walking billboards across San Diego.

We continued to play into excitement and glamour. Travel was such a wonderful and stylish experience. Our Facebook page, which is probably most important for any show – we have 230,000 fans. Even on the day of the premier we were the number one show on Television according to Trendrr.

We decided to launch a Pan Am Twitter powered flight, for fans to talk about Pan-Am and win things while they did. The bag became a really popular item to win. For the Twitter powered flight – so they could feel like they were moving the plane, every engagement had an incentive, the bag or an exclusive video.

We were at fashion week, we had a party with Lisa Perry. We had a bus with bus stops. We took out the glass and put in the dress and the fashion bag, as a fashion display. We got a lot of press coverage for the fashion display.

We created a Facebook app, called the Pan-Am flight crew. It encouraged fans to get post-cards and unlock content. Giving them themes and moments to let people emerge in the show.

Lost Remote: What was the thinking behind the partnership with Jetsetter?

MP: Our partnership with Gilt Group and Jetsetter, was a reflection of the style and what the show emulates. That’s always been our mantra, we want the tactics to fill organic, rash and very unexpected and inclusive. We don’t want to speak like we’re promoting. We want to make them feel like they’re part of something. That’s always been the intent.

Lost Remote: How will ABC keep up momentum?

MP: We will look at the pages and see what is and isn’t working. We’ll start to break out and get more involved with the characters. ABC.com is producing webisodes and about real Pan-Am stewardists. We have a producer who was a Pan-Am flight attendant. Her and her circle of friends is a big group of influencers.

Expanding on the glamour and fashion, the relationships on the show and also the locale, the places that they go to. Using the destinations they travel to, to create something people want to talk about.

Lost Remote: Was more invested in traditional or online?

MP: Certain shows just scream out for an online presence. For Pan-Am- it was 70%-30% traditional vs. online. Paid tactics are very much for awareness, by the time you do online, you’re hoping they aware. By the time the viral buzz is going on (like what we did at Comic-Con), chatter started to happen. We revisited our online tactics to see if it was supporting what dialogue was going on.

Lost Remote: Have you tried to correlate ratings with online?

MP: I think we’re getting closer. Nielsen is delving more into arena, figuring out how to measure it and at some point they’ll get there. Was it a television on-air promo, was it print, or was it talking about it on Facebook that caused them to tune-in? Because of that whole media mix, you have surrounded your viewer, that if it’s creative enough an idea then they will come to it. How they get there is always a learning experience.

Lost Remote: What’s your experience been with GetGlue?

MP: GetGlue has been a part of many campaigns and is extremely useful. We use it for 90% of our [media campaigns].

Lost Remote: Is GetGlue charging for stickers now?

MP: Yes, they are.

Lost Remote: What has your biggest success been?

MR: The whole fashion idea – having that bag. When people attach to something of interest they get excited. On-air we used a #hashtag with a contest for the bags. It’s generating a lot of interest. People couldn’t get away from it.

Pan-Am has such a great brand. People knew about it. Once they knew it they wanted to know more. People remebered Pan-Am fondly,what it meant for travel, what the stewardesses were like. An exciting and wonderful time. It helped us, no pun intended, get off the ground.

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