Ceeb delves deeper into mobile tie-ins

Pubcaster introduces interactive component for its NHL playoff coverage, with more plans for fall

A new mobile/online component to CBC’s coverage of the NHL playoffs lets hockey fans pick the stars of every game, and the pubcaster is planning to carry its sponsor-friendly mobile tie-ins through the fall season and beyond.

Fresh from signing its six-year contract with the NHL – and effectively saving its ratings powerhouse Hockey Night in Canada – CBC marketing execs recently finalized the details of the playoff project with Toronto-based MyThum Interactive. It was to launch on April 11, coinciding with the Ceeb’s playoff coverage.

‘With their viewership and the popularity of hockey, this is pretty exciting,’ says Michael Carter, president of the five-year-old company. Other MyThum clients include CanWest, CTVglobemedia, CHUM and Rogers Media.

CBC customer marketing manager Katlin Robinson says contest promos that use text messaging have been proposed for three of the pubcaster’s fall shows. Though online participation is far greater, text (or SMS, for ‘Short Message Service’) will also be a key part of CBC’s promotional strategy in the future, she says.

Robinson confirms that a mobile strategy will be continued for the follow-up to Test the Nation this fall. The first installment of the quiz show drew 1.5 million viewers to CBC last month, though Robinson would not reveal its mobile numbers.

Test the Nation’s SMS contest component was promoted for two weeks prior to the March 18 broadcast. During the broadcast, 30-second interstitials challenged viewers to test their heart health smarts for a $6,000 Heart Healthy Makeover, courtesy of sponsor Quaker Oats. It was a simple plan – a trivia question appears during the broadcast and the viewer texts in the answer – and a different format than the voting that drove the SMS/online component for last year’s Kraft Hockeyville.

‘It’s definitely becoming more common in the marketplace,’ says Robinson. ‘It’s really just a matter of looking at who the show is targeted to and whether or not they’re a demographic that makes sense for SMS. Intuitively, the demo is obviously younger.

‘With Test the Nation, we knew there would be family viewing, and we knew there would be young people watching with their parents, and they’re the huge driver of this kind of technology. Even if it was the moms who were entering the contest, it would be younger people who are encouraging the moms to participate.’

SMS participation numbers weren’t available, but about 116,000 people took part in the first Test the Nation via the online alternative. All of those people were also eligible to win a $5,000 travel voucher from Sunquest.

The network will air the follow-up Test the Nation: Watch Your Language this fall, challenging participants and viewers to spot common mistakes in spelling and grammar.

From Media in Canada