WWE's multimedia ad sampaign urges viewers to ''Escape the Rules''

MUMBAI: World Wresting Entertainment (WWE) has unveiled its new multimillion dollar marketing campaign for its WWE Monday night Raw franchise in the US. In India WWE content airs on Ten Sports.

WWE executive VP Kurt Schneider said. "The Escape the Rules campaign takes universally accepted axioms, such as 'don't take candy from strangers' or 'look before you leap' and shows how Raw turns those conventions upside down. The ads show viewers that by watching Raw you can truly escape the rules vicariously and safely.

"Our whole lives are governed by rules; it doesn't matter who you are or how much you make, since birth, you were socialized by all these regulations. Raw is that two-hour escape every week from these rules. We do all the things everyone has always been telling you not to do. We do it so you don't have to."

This is the second major advertising initiative it has announced within the last few weeks. All this is a grand build up to WrestleMania XX which takes place on 14 March 2004. Vince McMahon's company is confident of achieving greater television ratings and record-setting pay-per-view buys for the event. Tickets for the event had sold out in a few hours a couple of months ago. Already a spot called WrestleMania Rewind airs showcasing great moments from previous editions of the event.

Beyond having a major impact on the show itself as a tagline and in on-air promos, the new multimedia campaign will run in US publications Entertainment Weekly, Sports Illustrated, D.C. Comics, Mad Magazine and on AOL's online service. Commercials will be seen on Cartoon Network's late night Adult Swim block and in other programmes on TNT and TBS. The Escape The Rules concept will also be included in all future Raw radio spots, outdoor ads, and promotional marketing programmes in the US.

The campaign was developed in-house. The total media support for the Escape The Rules campaign over the next four months is valued at over $2 million. Earlier WWE had launched a Smack Your TV ad campaign with similar media support for its flagship programme on US network television WWE SmackDown.

WWE has stated that Raw has consistently been the top-rated regularly schedule programme on US basic cable for several years. SmackDown! has also been a solid ratings performer for Viacom's cable network UPN and this season ranks in the top 10 regularly scheduled broadcast primetime programmes among male teens and males 12-24.

WWE continues to see strong advertising demand. Over 125 companies advertise in its programming on cable, syndicated, and network TV. The company claims that sell-out rates are well over 90 per cent.

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