Sundance Channel

Robert Redford Mad Men

"The Sundance Channel is increasing its European footprint—and its famous founder has joined the growing number of industry voices to declare that TV's halcyon days are here again,” wrote Daily Variety in its coverage of Robert Redford’s attendance at this year’s MIPCOM. The revered film icon was in Cannes, France to support and celebrate Sundance Channel’s first anniversary in Europe.

With its vast experience in global channel marketing, publicity and event planning, Priority PR took on the responsibility of organizing and staging the press luncheon for Mr. Redford and Sundance Channel management at the world-famous Carlton Hotel during MIPCOM 2010.  Joining the festivities were Jon Hamm and Elisabeth Moss, the stars ofMad Men, as it was also announced that the world’s #1 drama show would join the Sundance Channel France lineup this coming February.

Mr. Redford’s MIPCOM appearance represented the biggest star to attend the international television market—a major highlight in MIPCOM’s 40-year history.  MIPCOM is one of the largest media and entertainment gatherings of its kind.

During the lunch event, top executives from Rainbow Media—Sundance Channel parent company—announced that the channel would launch on France’s SFR, the Netherlands’ Caiway and South Korea’s KT, formerly Korea Telecom. SFR marks Sundance Channel’s third affiliate in France, and KT is the channel’s second Korean affiliate.

With an audience of more than 100 journalists representing such major territories as France, Germany, Spain, the United Kingdom, Italy and the United States, Mr. Redford recalled how, as a penniless wannabe artist, he had slept rough in Cannes: “I was an artist, hitch-hiking to Italy when I was about 18, 19 years old and I didn’t have a dime and so I slept under a pier,” he said, pointing to the beach in front of the Carlton Hotel. “I remember looking up at the Carlton and thinking, “Wow! I wonder what goes on in there? I just imagined people in tuxedos and thought, ‘Jesus, what’s that like?’”

When asked what it was like sleeping inside the Carlton, instead of outside, Mr. Redford responded: “You can imagine the irony. I’m now standing here and looking down (from his suite)—it’s pretty amazing.”

    Robert Redford Sundance Channel Mad Men
  Robert Redford speaking at MIPCOM 2010

On the subject of Butch Cassidy, the most successful Western ever when it opened back in 1969, Mr. Redford said he didn’t particularly like the movie when he first saw the final cut.  He told one interviewer, “I said to them, ‘What’s this music? Why is there a song in there about raindrops when it’s not even raining?’”

Some 44 years later, however, the film has served him very well, particularly the name of his character, Sundance—today one of the best-known entertainment brands in the world.

Priority PR’s media plan called for the day to begin with a series of one-on-one interviews for Mr. Redford with top French consumer publications, including Le Figaro, Le Monde and L’Express.  Priority PR also arranged for an extensive video feature on Euronews, which ran continuously on outlets around the world, and secured an interview with Agence France-Presse (AFP), France’s equivalent to the Associated Press.  The AFP story got very good pick-up worldwide after being posted on both and Pick-up included The Straits Times in Asia, the Turkish press, Zambia’s Citizen and

The lunch was a meal within a meal: 
*Lasagnes safranées aux légumes provençaux, Bruschetta de jambon de Parme au vieux vinaigre de Barolo 
*Poitrine d’un poulet fermier cuit moelleux aux champignons et pomme de terre au juset pousses de salade pour la légèreté 
*Feuillantine de pommes caramélisées, Crème prise à la vanilla

That’s a starter of Saffron flavored lasagna with Provencal vegetables, Bruschetta with Parma ham and aged Barolo Vinegar; followed by a main course of Farm chicken breast with mushrooms and potato in their juice, Salad shoots; and finishing with Caramelized apple tart, Vanilla ice cream as the dessert.

Redford Mad Men Rainbow   

Before the lunch kickoff, Priority PR also arranged for a photo call on the steps of the Carlton for Mr. Redford and the Mad Men cast members.  Hordes of photographers fought for position to snap the shots that would be sent around the globe.

Later that evening, Priority PR supervised a VIP cocktail party, attend by Robert Redford, Elisabeth Moss and Jon Hamm.

Priority PR’s expertise in the channels business dates back to the mid 1990s when the firm became the agency of record for SBS Broadcasting, Europe’s second largest broadcasting company.  Priority PR orchestrated PR campaigns in Sweden, Denmark, Holland, Poland, Hungary, Switzerland, Slovenia and Romania for SBS.  Priority PR also launched TV 2 in Hungary, the country’s first private TV channel in 1995 and hosted SBS’ Digital Vision, a two day PR-driven event in Amsterdam, in 2005.  Subsequently, Priority PR also handled the global launch of The National Geographic Channel in Asia, Europe and the U.S.  In the U.S., Priority PR has handled the launch of numerous start up channels, including MGM HD in 2007 and the studio’s digital network, THIS TV in 2008.