Friday, January 14, 2005

Sheetrocking and rolling at HGTV

If you want to know how to leverage legacy media assets into a reader-pleasing web site rich in direct-response advertising opportunities, go to the new HGTVPro.Com. While you are there, you also can learn how to replace a toilet.

Using content from the Scripps home-improvement cable channel, HGTVPro has launched with more than 100 videos and articles aimed at both home handymen and professionals. Spanish versions for much of the stuff is promised for the future.

How-to tips are seamlessly blended with product pitches. Rustoleum provides painting tips, Armstrong talks about linoleum and so forth. Sorted by topic, demonstration videos start with a brief commercial while the main attraction downloads. As the spot rolls, links offer more information and dealer locations and adjacent ads push tools appropriate to the job.

In addition to edge-of-your-seat video like the one showing how to install lump-free sheetrock, the site is studded (cheap construction pun intended) with banner-ad and other sponsorship opportunities. Today, the site is showing ads from, among others, GMC, Moen, Lowe's and Purina.

Scripps is pushing the launch of the site with a sweepstakes in which you win not only a luxury dream home in Texas, not only an SUV large enough to live in by itself, but also $250,000 in cash. To be sure, the site also will be plugged heavily on the HGTV cable channel and the channels of its cocooning cohorts, Food Network and Fine Living.

Collectively, the Scripps channels publish a ton of email newsletters to cross-promo its properties and build a segmented database of direct-marketing targets. How are they doing? Scripps says 100,000 building professionals and 500,000 home enthusiasts have registered for the Pro newsletter.

Much as I would like to discuss this further, I've got to go. I have this sudden urge to hang some sheetrock.


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