AOL, Warner Bros. Launch “Drew Carey” Promotion

In another example of cross-marketing synergy created out of the AOL-Time Warner merger, America Online will be promoting a special episode of sister division Warner Bros. Television’s “The Drew Carey Show”.

The move provides some insight into how the newly-merged media giant intends to use online branches of its business to promote offline divisions and vice versa, giving industry-watchers an indication of what to expect from AOL Time Warner in coming months.

In the Drew Carey promotion, AOL users will have the opportunity to submit names for the character Mimi’s baby, with the chosen name being revealed during the show’s Feb. 21 episode.

AOL users must visit AOL Keyword: Mimi’s Baby to enter. Comedian Drew Carey and actress Kathy Kinney, who plays Mimi on the show, will select the baby’s name from the online entries submitted during the baby-naming contest, which begins Thursday and concludes on Feb. 15.

The winner will be awarded round-trip airfare for two to Hollywood, hotel accommodations for two nights, an official VIP tour of the Warner Bros. Studios, and tickets to a taping of “The Drew Carey Show.”

AOL also will feature an online chat with Kinney on Feb. 14.

It’s not the first time Burbank, Calif.-based Warner Bros. Television has launched an online promotion to boost viewership on the program, which airs on ABC. Last year, an episode of the “The Drew Carey Show” used a Web camera that broadcast portions of the show on the Internet.

The contest launches just a day after AOL Time Warner announced the extension of previous advertising deals across its properties, which include America Online, Time Inc. magazines, and cable network CNN. With Thursday’s “Drew Carey” promotion, another Time Warner division — television production — is being brought into the cross-platform marketing fold.

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