Reblogged from eMarketer
In his role at cable television channel USA Network, Jesse Redniss heads digital strategy for the network’s portfolio of TV shows. More recently, Redniss, along with some large brand advertisers, spearheaded a number of innovative social TV efforts. He spoke with eMarketer’s Lauren McKay about USA’s social TV activations and why the network is seeing more brand advertisers become interested in infusing TV programs with social media.
eMarketer: How does USA Network approach social TV?
Jesse Redniss: We are looking at social TV to extend our storytelling capabilities. That’s derived from the show creative, producers and writers. And then we work with all that content and our talent to start figuring out the right creative executions for the fan base. We’ve launched six shows this summer season and each show property has its own unique social TV offering. In a way, social TV has become an umbrella philosophy or strategy for USA’s digital, social and mobile executions.
eMarketer: USA Network launched its own social platform, Character Chatter, two years ago. How have brands gotten involved in that platform?
Redniss: The Character Chatter platform has become the central hub for real-time participation while our shows are on. It’s an aggregation of real-time conversation from Facebook, Twitter, YouTube videos, Get Glue check-ins, Viggle check-ins; it continues to gain a lot of momentum and popularity.
A lot of other networks are launching very similar community-building platforms. CBS just announced its CBS Connect platform, for example. We’re trying to bring brand advertisers into the conversation. When the Ford Fusion, for example, is integrated into an episode of “White Collar,” it’s then easy for us to promote that positioning or brand integration in platforms like Character Chatter. When working with advertisers we take a “created with” approach. We don’t want people to view something as an ad, we want people to view it as added content to their “White Collar” show experience.
eMarketer: What other social TV brand programs have you launched?
Redniss: For Ford and “White Collar,” we created a very deep, immersive gaming experience tied to the show. The game is a treasure hunt that takes place around the country. The Ford vehicle is an integral part of using the map function and some of the Ford brand positioning enhances the map experience.
We’re also doing an interesting choose-your-own-adventure video series with Capital One and the show “Covert Affairs.” Fans can come in and decide the outcome of the videos—whether the characters turn left or right. We are putting the story in the hands of users and viewers to be active participants in how the story unfolds… [Read More]