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BizReport : Blogs & Content archives : September 23, 2011

Online gives broadcasters more chances to engage

The fall TV season kicked off this week with many viewers heating up their DVRs and computers rather than watching at the original broadcast time. But that isn't necessarily a bad thing for broadcasters, because viewers spend as much if not more time engaged with their product while online. The online environment also offers advertisers are more beneficial place to advertise.

by Kristina Knight

I recently chatted with Rex Cook, CEO and Chief Creative Officer with AvatarLabs, a digital agency helping brands navigate the online space.

Kristina: How big of a factor is an online presence for today's television programming?

Rex: The TV audience is online, and targeted ad buys are a great way to reach them. Especially for new shows, rich media display advertising is one of the best ways to get video in front of the online audience. Also, compared to other types of advertising, online can be highly cost effective.

Kristina: Why type of content seems to get the best response online?

Rex: Showcasing video front and center is always a success, as it best conveys the heart of the show and can be more emotionally engaging and therefore effective than search or print campaigns. What's great about rich media is that the TV spot can be supplemented by other video such as compelling story clips, action clips, or character-based vignettes, allowing fans to dive deeper into the content. Social media components get results as well - include the tools for people to engage, and they will use them. The True Blood Season 4 online media campaign included several pre-populated Twitter messages that people could choose and post directly from the ad. t also included the full True Blood Twitter feed, as well as a link to the Facebook page for the show. #TrueBlood was one of the top ten trending topics on Twitter the night of the Season 4 premiere due to efforts across multiple platforms.

Kristina: What trends did you see in the summer TV schedule that fall programs could utilize to drive engagement and viewership?

Rex: Creating a cohesive campaign where all components - online display, social media, on-air, print, outdoor, mobile, promotions - work together to drive to one another seems to get the best result. Also, you've struck gold when the social sphere is buzzing about your show.
  • showcase compelling video front and center
  • include social media elements on every platform possible
  • create a cohesive campaign across all platforms so that you can reach the target audience wherever they are
  • Kristina: What is "True Blood" doing 'right' this season? And what innovations would you like to see from other primetime programs?

    Rex: HBO has done an incredible job of engaging the social sphere with targeted promotions across multiple platforms through display advertising, Facebook apps, Twitter, Get Glue, HBO Connect, viral websites and more. Any network fortunate enough to have such a large social following for a show can always innovate in new ways in the social space in order to create the right promotions that particular audience will engage with and share.

    Tags: AvatarLabs, online advertising, online video, Rex Cook, video content, video trends

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