In order to to promote the second half of the second season of its lawyer drama Suits, USA Network is encouraging fans to submit cines, or two-second animated GIFs from video clips via photo/video hybrid app Cinemagram.
New episodes returned January 17. According to USA, 3.6 million viewers tuned in. Not including the January 17 episode, there are five new episodes remaining.
The Cinemagram initiative launched January 14. Fans can submit clips from Suits itself, or cines inspired by Suits, such as a fan imitating a character.
Weekly winners will be dubbed Cine of the Week and will win prize packs. The initiative will run through the remainder of the season, or February 21.
According to the official rules, users must follow @Suits_USA in order to participate.
Entries are tagged with #SuitsCine.
According to a USA rep, the show has had 23 #SuitsCine submissions to date. The Cine of the Week will be named prior to each new episode on Thursdays.
As of Tuesday, the cine with the most likes on Suits' Cinemagram page has 146.
Also as of Tuesday, about 50 tweets had been tagged with #SuitsCine, although 17 were from one user, @SuitsObsessed, whose bio says, "I'm a college student who's a SUITS, Twilight, White Collar, Rookie Blue, Grey's Anatomy, Smash,(and many more)...Loving freak! Avid Fanfic reader!"
The Cinemagram app has had more than 5 million downloads on iTunes to date.
According to USA, it is the first TV brand to run a contest with Cinemagram. The network plans to run similar campaigns with its shows White Collar and Psych, which premiere in late January and February, respectively.
"I think a lot of our fans were already using Cinemagram," says Colleen Mohan, senior vice president of brand marketing at NBC Universal, which is USA's parent company. "It was a matter of capturing that and the growing popularity of the Cinemagram platform."
Suits' target audience is 18-to-34-year-olds.
USA will promote the initiative, in part, on its Suits Tumblr, which launched in June 2012.
A January 18 post about the initiative on Facebook has 548 likes. Suits has 922,000 fans.
In addition, USA says it live "cine'd" the last new episode with exclusive scenes posted as they happened live.
USA is working with social agency 360i on the initiative.
"We're in the business of storytelling. This initiative gives us an opportunity to put fans at the center of storytelling," Mohan says. "It's seizing the moment with the popularity of Cinemagram to give fans another connection and to tell a story within our story."
Lisa Lacy is senior staff writer at ClickZ. In addition to ClickZ, her work has appeared in The Huffington Post, The Luxury Spot, LearnVest, MarthaStewart.com, GoodHousekeeping.com, amNewYork, and The Wall Street Journal. She's a graduate of Columbia's School of Journalism.
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