Participation TV as part of the mobile marketing mix
Unless you *never* watch television in the UK, then you must have seen programmes incorporating text messaging as an intrinsic part of the television programme. That might be for voting (such as Big Brother, X Factor and even last night’s British Comedy Awards). This has been a nice money spinner for the broadcasters and network operators alike as the figures below show. If you imagine that each vote costs a minimum of 25p + your standard text charge. And the broadcaster is probably getting back @ 11p each (because of the high volumes), the numbers soon add up.
• Big Brother 5 - 10m+
• I'm a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here - 10m+
• X-Factor - 5.4m • Big Brother 3 - 5.3m
• Big Brother 4 - 3.1m
• Fame Academy 2 - 1.6m
• Eurosong 2002 - 700k
Source: Text.it/Mobile Data Association
This is all well and good, but there’s a massive missed opportunity here. On the rare occasions that I have voted on TV or sent my comment in to a TV or radio show, I’ve had the most paltry reply (if I’ve had a reply at all that is). And all this reply message does is confirm my vote. It doesn’t ask me to opt-in to a database, it doesn’t ask me for any feedback, it just assumes [probably] that I’m a fan of Big Brother, ergo, I must be male or female between the ages of 16 and 30. You’d think the broadcaster (and advertiser for that matter) would be interested in knowing *a lot* more about its viewers.
There are other campaigns going on though in TV land… GMTV/This Morning/Richard and Judy etc regularly run premium rate competitions for a chance to win cash or a holiday. These usually ask a very simple question with an A/B/C answer and you pay £1 to £1.50 + your usual standard text rate.
And at last, this year, we’re beginning to see more interesting ways of interacting with consumers via mobile leveraging the popularity of key TV shows. The BBC is the trailblazer in this respect by offering free mobile games to support it’s programme, Spooks which I wrote about here
We’re also seeing wap sites supporting youth programming in particular. So for Channel 4’s Totally Frank
The SMS link to access the wapsite is free and accessible for all users except Three. But you pay to view the video clips and they’re using Bango
I wonder how hard it would be to put ‘Download this video for £x?' And I wonder if this pricing strategy has had an effect on the number of downloads they’ve actually sold? I’m guessing many people get as far as ‘download this video’ but as soon as they can’t find out how much the video is they simply exit the browser altogether. To view it for yourself, text MOBILE to 83188 (UK only).
So this is another case of a company *nearly* getting it right in mobile marketing. 10/10 for creating mobile specific content and the wapsite to go with it.
0/10 marks for not making the pricing clear. I’m not suggesting that all mobile content should be free. But if you are charging customers, then just make it easy for them and tell them how much you're charging – especially when you’re appealing to predominantly under 18s.
0/10 marks for data opt-in (there wasn't one) or finding out about the audience.
0/10 marks for not interacting with users and getting them more involved with the characters. Maybe a simple voting mechanism, an opt-in message for further info (which can be advertiser sponsored), or simply a tell us your feedback would be enough?
I guess they need BeepMarketing
tags: mobile+technology & mobile+marketing & mobile & mobile+applications & mobile+media & participation+tv & sms+tv & mobile+tv