NBC Runs Video Ads on LivingSocial

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People who bought a LivingSocial voucher for a restaurant over the weekend may have gotten an additional $2 off their purchase. That is, if they first watched a :30 video trailer for NBC’s “America’s Next Great Restaurant.”

After viewers clicked a “complete my order” button, they were taken to a video page on LivingSocial with the following copy: “Take 30 seconds to watch the trailer for NBC’s newest show and receive $2 off right now on the deal just purchased!” Call-to-action copy and brand images for the network show appeared around the video player.

It’s the first ad of its kind to appear on the daily deals site and will be available nationally for restaurant deals through March 13.

While financial terms were not disclosed, NBC has been exchanging cheap eats for “America’s Next Great Restaurant” trailer views a lot lately. Two weeks ago, the media giant and Chipotle Mexican Grill began offering a buy-one-burrito-get-one-free coupon to people who watched the same movie trailer on Facebook.

The offer ran on NBC’s Facebook page for the reality TV show, which stars Chipotle founder Steve Ells. Ad copy encouraged people to “like” the show – or “Become A Fan” – without requiring the action. “America’s Next Great Restaurant” accrued more than 300,000 “likes” from Feb. 24 to March 3.

Chipotle posted about the the burrito giveaway to its audience of 1.2 million Facebook “likes,” though it did no other messaging for the effort.

“This promotion wasn’t designed to add Chipotle [Facebook ‘likes’], but rather to get people to watch the show and to expose potential new customers to Chipotle,” Mark Crumpacker, CMO for Chipotle, told ClickZ last week. “That’s why it was promoted through some of NBC’s digital channels.”

Indeed, both the LivingSocial and Chipotle partnerships were designed to help drive show viewership for its March 6 debut on NBC. “America’s Next Great Restaurant” appeared to have a disappointing overnight ratings showing, finishing fourth in its one-hour primetime slot behind ABC’s “Secret Millionaire,” FOX’s “The Simpsons,” and CBS’s “Amazing Race.”

Meanwhile, another premiering show, A&E Network’s “Breakout Kings,” seemed to fare better while coincidentally buying Twitter’s Promoted Trend ad for March 6. The drama averaged 2.8 million viewers, which, according to the New York-based cable network, was its most successful dramatic show debut to date.

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