CBS Promotes Fall Lineup With Bluetooth

  |  August 25, 2006   |  Comments

Interactive signs in Grand Central Terminal will beam video clips from the network's fall lineup to the handsets of harried commuters.

How can a marketer grab a person’s attention in a place already teeming with sights, sounds and motion?

CBS is betting the answer is with more sights, sounds and motion – beamed to mobile handsets with Bluetooth technology.

The television network today announced plans for a new interactive marketing campaign that will use Bluetooth-enabled billboards at New York’s Grand Central Terminal train station to beam video clips from its fall primetime lineup to the Bluetooth-enabled cell phones, smart phones and PDAs of harried commuters -- but only if they “Accept.”

The campaign, which begins Labor Day weekend and lasts through September, will promote the network’s four new primetime series – "Shark," "Smith," "Jericho" and "The Class" -- as well as the continuing primetime drama "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation." Each show will have its own billboard, for a total of five, located in Grand Central’s upstairs corridor and on its Subway level. Bluetooth phone-toting passersby will receive a message from the billboard on their phone’s screen that asks, “Would you like to know more from CBS?” Pressing the corresponding "Accept" button will begin the download of a 30-second video clip from the billboard to the phone, where it can be viewed and then deleted or saved. The download should take about 20 seconds. But the cellphone must be within a radius of 30 to 35 feet away from the billboard and must be set to “discoverable to all” mode, explains Patrick Nagle, chief marketing officer of Kameleon Technologies, the Paris-based company whose MobiZone FREE technology is powering the CBS billboards.

“It’s using sight, sound and motion [to] sample our programming,” explained George Schweitzer, president of the CBS Marketing Group. This is the best way to sample a TV show, he said, adding that everybody likes a free sample.

CBS will gauge the success of the campaign partly by counting the number of video clips that are downloaded from the Bluetooth billboards. But this won’t be the only yardstick, Schweitzer said. The network will also have “spotters’ at Grand Central to see how many people simply stop and look at the billboards at different times of day. “If it doesn’t work, it’s an experiment. If it works, then it will become a regular thing,” he said.

“I would be shocked that it wouldn’t have positive impact,” said Greg Stuart, CEO of the Interactive Advertising Bureau in New York. “This is a perfect product demo. When the ad becomes the content, I think it works perfectly.”

CBS says it is the first television network to integrate Bluetooth wireless technology in a billboard. However, the strategy has been used by other marketers earlier. Land Rover earlier this summer posted a Bluetooth-enabled billboard in Times Square, to promote its LR3 sport utility vehicle. The billboard, which recently came down, also offered video clip downloads to cellphones.

Land Rover’s billboard was not powered by the Kameleon technology, said Nagle. Rather, it utilized a competing technology named BlueCasting from a U.K.-based firm named Filter.

"The Land Rover target is technologically savvy and reaching them through their Bluetooth-enabled devices allowed us to speak to them in a unique way," said a Land Rover spokesperson of that effort. "A Bluetooth program incorporating a billboard also allowed us to add a degree of interactively to an otherwise static medium."

Nagle said Kameleon will be engaged in other U.S. deployments of Bluetooth-enabled billboards in September and October in conjunction with billboard owners CBS Outdoor, Cemusa, ClearChannel and J.C. Decaux.

ClickZ Live San Francisco This Year's Premier Digital Marketing Event is #CZLSF
ClickZ Live San Francisco (Aug 11-14) brings together the industry's leading practitioners and marketing strategists to deliver 4 days of educational sessions and training workshops. From Data-Driven Marketing to Social, Mobile, Display, Search and Email, this year's comprehensive agenda will help you maximize your marketing efforts and ROI. Register today!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

COMMENTSCommenting policy

comments powered by Disqus

ClickZ Today is our #1 newsletter.
Get a daily dose of digital marketing.

COMMENTS

UPCOMING EVENTS

Featured White Papers

BigDoor: The Marketers Guide to Customer Loyalty

The Marketer's Guide to Customer Loyalty
Customer loyalty is imperative to success, but fostering and maintaining loyalty takes a lot of work. This guide is here to help marketers build, execute, and maintain a successful loyalty initiative.

Marin Software: The Multiplier Effect of Integrating Search & Social Advertising

The Multiplier Effect of Integrating Search & Social Advertising
Latest research reveals 68% higher revenue per conversion for marketers who integrate their search & social advertising. In addition to the research results, this whitepaper also outlines 5 strategies and 15 tactics you can use to better integrate your search and social campaigns.

WEBINARS

    Information currently unavailable

Jobs

    • Interactive Product Manager
      Interactive Product Manager (Western Governors University) - Salt Lake CityWestern Governors University, one of the 20 largest universities...
    • SEO Senior Analyst
      SEO Senior Analyst (University of Phoenix (Apollo Education Group)) - San FranciscoSEO Senior Analyst   Position Summary...
    • SEM & Biddable Media Manager
      SEM & Biddable Media Manager (Kepler Group LLC) - New YorkAs an Optimization & Innovation Manager at Kepler Group, you will be on the bleeding...