Paul Holmes 02 Apr 2003 // 11:00PM GMT
Comedy legend Sid Caesar was sitting alone in his Beverly Hills home, his work pioneering the golden age of television comedy nearly forgotten by the industry he helped create, and by the generations he made laugh when approached to release his classic kinescopes….
Bragman Nyman Cafarelli’s public relations campaign for Creative Light Entertainment’s DVD/Video product launch, “The Sid Caesar Collection,” overcame numerous media obstacles and operated without any advertising support to deliver key media placements, which resulted in sales. But more importantly, this product launch and surrounding media campaign resurrected the reputation of Mr. Caesar, and ensured his legacy will never be forgotten.
Consumers have largely ignored Sid Caesar’s contributions to the television and entertainment community over the past 45 years, and younger generations are unfamiliar with his career because “Your Show of Shows” and “Caesar’s Hour” did not air repeats like “I Love Lucy.”
At age 80, Caesar is not a desirable demography for a large portion of key entertainment news programs, and his age and subsequent hip replacement operations limit travel and publicity opportunities.
Overcome Mr. Caesar’s publicized reputation for alcohol abuse, to further build his reputation as a comedic genius.
Educate younger members of the media on Caesar’s accomplishments, as well as the historical importance of his classic material being digitally restored and available to consumers for the first time.
Conducted an internal audit of Mr. Caesar’s awareness within the entertainment community by verbally asking staff to relate general knowledge of Mr. Caesar’s career.
· Generate direct response sales for “The Sid Caesar Collection” solely utilizing public and media relations, with no ad support due to budgetary constrictions.
· Execute a personal brand building campaign for Mr. Caesar by re-exploring his critical contributions to the comedy and television communities.
· Secure the direct consumer-response information (website and toll free number) in all media placements, in order to generate sales.
· Center campaign on the re-education of Sid’s contributions to early television and comedy, by targeting television critics as well as video/DVD critics.
· Utilize the 50th Anniversary of the “Your Show of Shows” launch to generate features.
· Completely digitalize and restore Mr. Caesar’s original kinescopes, and make them available to consumers for the first time.
· Capitalize on recent successes of Mr. Caesar’s ‘Dream Team’ of writers ( i.e. Mel Brooks with “The Producers”), to incorporate Sid Caesar into existing media stories.
· Pursue award recognition for Mr. Caesar to raise his reputation as a comedic genius and ensure his legacy within the television and entertainment community.
· Utilize Mr. Caesar’s recently re-launched website, www.sidcaesar.com as an information source for consumers and media to generate additional sales.
Target television critics and TV media for features stories that explore Sid’s historic contributions, as well as the recent release of his video collection
Target demographically correct media outlets (i.e. Modern Maturity, Larry King Live) to work first with consumers who are familiar with Sid’s contributions.
Target Jewish media outlets familiar with Caesar’s dramatic impact to the Jewish and comedy communities.
Overcome Caesar’s alcohol reputation by targeting feature stories in key publications that would examine the pressures that led to the abuse and would include Sid’s amazing story of self-recovery alongside wife of 58 years, Florence.
Target intelligent, thought provoke programs (i.e. Charlie Rose, NPR) to introduce Mr. Caesar and his comedy to an intellectual consumer audience.
· Generated more than 110,000 DVD/video sales to date for “The Sid Caesar Collection.”
· Sold more than 30,000 DVD/videos directly via www.sidcaesar.com.
REPUTATION & AWARD HIGHLIGHTS
· Mr. Caesar was the recipient of the Television Critic’s Association Lifetime Achievement award in June 2001, as a result of awareness generated during this campaign. (See 6-A)
· Mr. Caesar was honored by the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce as the “Hollywood Television Legend” in the annual televised 2000 Hollywood Christmas Parade.
· Received the Third Annual Alan King Award in American Jewish Humor by the National Foundation for Jewish Culture on 12.11.01, in conjunction with his New York publicity trip.
· Industry awareness resulted in Mr. Caesar’s first television appearance in more than two decades when Drew Carey invited Caesar to guest star on “Whose Line Is It Anyway,” to a standing ovation from the live audience.
· Public Affairs Books is currently publishing a new Caesar autobiography reflecting on classic television comedy, his first in more than two decades. Currently being written.
· Noah Wylie attached to play Sid Caesar in a biographical television movie, currently in development.