Steven Spielberg's Amblin/Universal Entertainment has broken TV tradition by hiring an outside ad agency, Chiat/Day, to raise the profile of the ratings-troubled "Amazing Stories" as it begins its second season on NBC.
Chiat/Day was responsible for the Orwellian Apple Computer spot in 1984, and the classy Nike print and TV ads. Ridley Scott Productions actually produced the Apple spot, and the English firm has created the three new "Amazing" promos now running. The show will be seen Mondays at 8:30 p.m. beginning Sept. 22.
In his unusual contract with NBC, Spielberg retained promotional control on the series. According to sources, he's paying $225,000 for all three spots--and Scott cut its profit by some $75,000 to get the landmark account. Those prices are still higher than customary network expenditures.
" 'If I'd had the money to hire Ridley Scott Productions," said John Miller, NBC ad-promo veep, "I'd have done it myself."