Wednesday, December 22

OWN

As I was walking to work yesterday, I saw it. It was out of the corner of my eye, and it whisked by me on the side of a bus but there was no mistaking it. I saw my first billboard advertisement for Oprah's new network, OWN. It was only a matter of time before the machine would kick in, and with the launch on January 1st, I would say that it's about time. And like any good marketing plan, that first exposure yesterday coincidentally turned into exposure after exposure after exposure ever since. Did I ever tell you that there are no coincidences in marketing?

The woman is working it. As if the "farewell season" isn't enough of a daily reminder of what's next, there is now a full assault to build an audience for OWN and its shows. Facebook pages, blogs, viral videos, and of course advertising every time you turn your head and turn the channel.

Who can blame her? This is a big venture -- bold, brilliant, and risky all at once. Oprah readily admits that she is scared to death and lays awake at night worrying that perhaps this is too big. Relax girl, you own it.

As she says: "New shows. New faces. New possibilities." The lineup is jammed packed with new original programming all in Oprah style. The programmers are of course relying on some old favorites like Suze Orman, Dr. Phil, and Dr. Oz ... "Oprah's All Stars", as they say. And some old friends like Rosie O'Donnell and Carson Kressley. And a few new surprises like Shania Twain and Ryan O'Neal. Ryan O'Neal with his daughter Tatum!

The ultimate bridge? A behind the scenes look at the final episodes of the Oprah Winfrey Show. Brilliant. You can watch the promo video here.

I write this blog post for a couple reasons. First of all, the woman is a master and she deserves all the success she is so expertly creates for herself. She is a marketing machine that must be respected. And second of all -- fair warning. When we are all home for the holidays next week, expect to be hit over the head, time after time, with announcements about the OWN launch on January 1st.

It is a national holiday after all!

What's your experience? Jim.

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