Chrysler Re-Ups with CNN, Time for ‘Person of the Year’ Sponsorship

For the second year in a row, Chrysler has signed up with CNN and Time as the exclusive sponsor of Time’s “Person of the Year” content across multiple media channels.

The multi-million dollar ad package includes TV ads on CNN; wireless, online video and podcast sponsorships on; print ads in Time magazine; electronic billboards in New York and Toronto under the Time brand; and online ads and podcasts on

Multi-platform deals like this are increasingly being demanded by advertisers, Greg D’Alba, COO of CNN ad sales and marketing, told ClickZ.

“Our industry is moving. We used to compete against the currency of ratings points. Now it’s all about relevance and reach,” D’Alba said. “Advertisers know there’s a deep connection to consumers that doesn’t always occur in the living room.”

Where multiplatform ad buys were a discussion two years ago, and the beginning of a trend last year, they are an essential request of advertisers today, he said. “It used to be, we’d present multimedia integration to the marketplace. Now the marketplace comes to us to demand it,” he said.

As many as 80 percent of ad campaigns on CNN’s properties include more than one platform. The CNN brand includes the TV networks, an interactive TV (iTV) online video channel, audio podcasts and the “CNN To Go” wireless offering. Many ad partnerships also include parent Time Warner’s print magazines, D’Alba said.

Chrysler sponsored the “Person of the Year” on multiple platforms last year, in one of the first large multi-platform deals brokered by CNN’s ad sales team. Integration across media channels was a major focus of CNN’s upfront pitch to advertisers earlier this year.

Chrysler’s ad package, which is larger than last year’s, uses all of CNN’s media platforms. Besides multiple TV spots and visibility within promotions for a “Person of the Year” documentary broadcast, CNN is giving online and mobile users a chance to vote for their favorite among several nominees, participate in polls and trivia games, and learn more about past winners. In all of these areas, Chrysler’s brand will be highlighted, and users will have opportunities to ask for more information from the carmaker.

It also includes online ads and sponsorship on, in audio podcasts, and on Time’s electronic billboards in New York City’s Times Square and Toronto’s Dundas Square.

According to proprietary research by CNN and Time, Chrysler’s 2005 campaign on CNN and in TIME, including the “Person of the Year” sponsorship, was very effective, D’Alba said. In the study, consumers said they had a greater familiarity with Chrysler, gave Chrysler a higher brand rating and had a higher Chrysler purchase intent after seeing the campaign.

Integration of digital media is helping ads on CNN’s offline media platforms as well, since consumers of digital media tend to use more media overall, creating more opportunities for advertisers to reach CNN’s audience, D’Alba said.

Time has named a “Person of the Year” since 1927, recognizing a person or persons who most affected the news and people’s lives, for good or for ill, throughout the course of the year. This year’s issue hits newsstands on December 18, with content beginning on CNN and online in early December.

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