Oxygen Media has teamed up with Tumblr to bring web GIFs to the silver screen.
Tumblr and Oxygen will start to work together to bring user-made GIFs to its programming in real time. The move is aimed to further enhance the connection between television and social media.
"When it comes to reality TV it's really astounding to see just how much people like making animated gifs for our programming," says senior vice president of digital at Oxygen Media Harleen Kahlon in an interview with ClickZ.
GIFs are web-based images that build upon short video to create unique messages. Oxygen's campaign will see viewers remix show footage to create GIFs that will appear on-air.
Starting May 8, Oxygen will begin to feature the best GIFs from Tumblr in its programming. The initiative will see GIFs about specific Oxygen shows appear on-air in real time.
The feature will debut alongside Oxygen's tattoo competition series "Best Ink." Oxygen's show is a reality-based competition that sees contestants go head-to-head to uncover who is the best artist on the show.
Tumblr's Media Evangelist Mark Coatney tells ClickZ that the idea for the promotion came directly from Oxygen. Coatney says that the group was actively pursuing ways to better engage with its audience in real time.
"The genesis was really all on Oxygen; they came to us and asked what could we do to provide deeper integration for Tumblr," says Coatney.
Coatney says the idea speaks to what makes successful social TV campaigns. He says the secret to building out a great campaign is to find out what is already succeeding on the web and figure out how to adapt it to your programming.
"How people come to find the best way to leverage campaigns is to be aware of what is cool and popular," continues Coatney.
"People are very interested if marketers just play with what just comes about organically online."
Kahlon says Oxygen is very progressive with how it approaches social TV campaigns. She tells ClickZ that the company is always looking for exciting new ways to engage viewers and she believes GIFs are one of the next big ways to do it.
"We are very experimental in how we engage with these platforms. We are experimenting all the time and we think GIFs are the next big thing," continues Kahlon.
According to Kahlon, a major factor to succeeding with social TV campaigns is to rethink how you gauge a campaign's success. She says social TV shouldn't be based around just metrics and statistics, but instead focuses on how best to engage viewers.
"The number one thing is to engage people and not focus on performance and metrics. It's really about enhancing the user experience," says Kahlon.
Oxygen has already treaded on new ground in the social TV realm. The company's previous initiatives included bringing on photographers for shows that exclusively take photos for social media campaigns.
Social TV is a growing trend in the advertising field. The trend looks to capitalize on social media and the web for TV-based ad campaigns. Earlier this month, Hill Holliday Senior Vice President Mike Proulx highlighted the power of social TV during a presentation at SES New York.
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James is a freelance writer and editor. In addition to ClickZ, his work has appeared in publications like V3, The Commonwealth Club, CachedTech.com, and Shonen Jump magazine. He studied Journalism at Weber State University.
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