Sony's Workout DVD Stretches Into TV Show

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The direct response television efforts for Sony BMG Music Entertainment's DVD and CD workout set "BYou" led to a new half-hour Discovery Kids show and a second wind of retail sales more than six months since the product's release.

Cable network Discovery Kids recently aired three episodes featuring footage from the BYou DVD. The workout program targets young girls and features dancer and BYou singer Sabrina Bryan, a popular member of the Disney Channel TV show, movie and music group all called "The Cheetah Girls."

"[BYou is] an original program for girls," said Maria Kennedy, vice president of direct response and paid programming at Discovery Kids, Silver Spring, MD. "It keeps them engaged and interested, and it's empowering."

The three 30-minute episodes aired at 11:30 a.m. Saturdays and Sundays starting Aug. 18. The DVD and CD have been in stores since spring.

"It was a unique opportunity to take the DVD and format it as an engaging show for girls on Discovery," said Tim Pearson, senior vice president of sales and marketing at Sony BMG, New York. "We are excited about doing something positive to get kids up and exercising."

The BYou show came about through a partnership facilitated by direct response agency Cmedia. The agency had a longstanding relationship with both companies and has worked with cable broadcaster Discovery Communications Inc.  previously on product placement deals.

Cmedia  ran a DRTV campaign for Sony beginning in January with 120-, 60- and 30- second spots on various children's networks. The commercial targets mothers and daughters, whereas the BYou show is content driven.

"The half-hour show really exposed the audience to what the DVD product was like and got kids excited about the product," said Marilyn Davis, executive vice president at Cmedia, Portland, OR.

The show has increased response to the retail outlets and to the Web site at www.byou.com. In addition to DRTV, the set was promoted through search and other Internet campaigns and a retail campaign, with one of the largest retail supporters being Wal-Mart.

"We thought of it as a great opportunity to, yes, make money but also hopefully raise awareness around a serious issue like teen obesity," Mr. Pearson said.

The three companies will regroup and consider more possibilities for the BYou product. This may include BYou Vol. 2, Mr. Pearson said.

"Most direct response companies don't get to partner with a national channel like Discovery and produce a program like this," Ms. Kennedy said. "We would welcome working with high-quality, direct response companies, particularly [those] who have out-of-the-box ideas."

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