NBC: is creating buzz for its new drama Conviction offering the premiere episode free for download on iTunes before it airs on the network at 10 p.m. ET March 3. The effort marks the first time NBC has offered a show on iTunes before it premieres. Following the broadcast, episodes of Conviction will be available on iTunes for $1.99 each.
MERCEDES-BENZ USA: has appointed Mark McNabb to the position of VP-marketing effective today. McNabb, who joins the company from Nissan North America, will oversee marketing and product management of the Mercedes-Benz and Maybach brands in the U.S.
VONAGE MARKETING: is sponsoring the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburgh, which will be held March 30 to April 2. Its sponsorship will be highlighted by signage within the racecourse and will be activated through an online promotion and retail promotions with Michael Andretti at Circuit City stores in the Miami and Tampa/St. Petersburg areas leading up to the event.
MARATHON ANIMATION: is out with a new phone booth ad campaign in New York City designed to build buzz around the Cartoon Network animated series Totally Spies! The campaign, which is slated to end March 6, was launched to raise awareness about the show’s fourth season, which airs at 5:30 p.m. weekdays starting April 3 on Cartoon Network. Totally Spies! tracks the globetrotting exploits of three Beverly Hills girls, Clover, Alex and Sam, who become international spies. Paris, France-based Marathon Animation produces the show.
MARKETING DRIVE WORLDWIDE: Wilton, CT, has hired Edward Fletcher as senior art director; he held the same post Colangelo Synergy Marketing, Darien, CT. Fletcher reports to Chief Creative Officer Gene Chmiel. Marketing Drive also hired five more staffers: Stephanie Blicharz becomes senior account executive, a new post in Marketing Drive’s Boston office; she had been an account services staffer at Devine & Pearson Advertising. Kate O’Loughlin becomes human resources generalist, a new post; she had been human resources coordinator at TracyLocke. Glenn Babyak becomes traffic manager, a new post; he held a similar post at Euro RSCG 4D. Devon Fitchett becomes office manager and Brittany Achin becomes account coordinator, both in the agency’s Boston office.
VITAL MARKETING: New York, has formed an alcohol and spirits division of the experiential marketing agency and hired Efrain Oliva as project manager to run the unit. Oliva will pursue new business for on- and off-premise promotions and events geared to multicultural audiences.