Mary Kay, Kohl's, Ram offer exclusive second-screen content for ACM Awards

CBS Interactive teamed up with brand sponsors Mary Kay, Kohl's and Ram Trucks to leverage a wide array of mobile tactics for the Academy of Country Music Awards, including live-streaming, social media reporting, voting and delivering backstage content. 

The awards show was broadcasted live on CBS last night but was also offered through the CBS All Access subscription-based streaming service application. The separate CBS app is presenting the ACM Sessions series, consisting of extra concert performances featuring big names from the award show.

"Providing streaming services via mobile and social channels will provide a substantial boost the amount of people viewing the Academy of Country Music Awards," said Shuli Lowy, marketing director at Ping Mobile, New York. "Streaming services are important for any telecasts. 

"However, they are particularly important for telecasts that have a time sensitive thrill," she said. "If you are watching a television drama series and you miss an episode you?ll be fine catching it a week later. 

"But if you miss watching the Grammy?s, chances are you will not be interested in watching it a week later because the social thrill around award ceremonies is time sensitive. It is exciting to watch it the day of and virtually obsolete the next day."

Brands such as Kohl?s, Mary Kay and Ram Trucks sponsored different factions of the mobile efforts from the event. For instance, the digital fan voting of new artist of the year was supported by Kohl?s and CBS show 2 Broke Girls? actress, Beth Behrs promoted the show by taking over the live reporting on social media. 

Cross-promotion is key
This year?s Grammy Awards proved that live events should be streamed through secondary devices with creating one of the highest spikes in subscriptions of CBS All Access, explained a CBS Interactive executive at Mobile Marketing Day 2015 (see more). 

So it makes sense that the network would want to do that with the country music equivalent. 


CBS All Access offers streaming of the ACM Awards on all devices

"We take a 360-degree approach to specials like the ACM Awards, delivering a mix of social, editorial and video content beginning months out from the actual telecast," said Rob Gelick, senior vice president and general manager of Digital Platforms at CBS Interactive Entertainment, Los Angeles. "It is how audiences are becoming accustomed to engaging with content and it is also a great way for us to raise awareness for an event like this early to drive buzz and ultimately tune-in.

"We also use digital platforms to cross-pollinate programming," he said. "Take for example, our Social Media Reporter program with 2 Broke Girls? Beth Behrs. 

"She has a great social following on her own, as does the show, and we can bring that audience?s attention to the ACM Awards in a unique way because they?re fans of hers or the shows. For brands there is a similar value, an opportunity to engage with a highly passionate audience in a relevant way across multiple touch points."

CBS and sponsors are gaining access to the country fan demographic, one of the largest groups of music fans. Playing up the mobile aspect and engaging these consumers broadens the reach even more. 

Ms. Behrs is reporting on the event from the red carpet as well as during the event. This means that the ACM Awards have the possibility of getting the attention of 2 Broke Girls? fans and vice versa. Promoting the happenings before and after the awards also widens the audience. 

Streamlining subscriptions
Recently, Universal Music Group premiered a set of music videos on mobile-optimized online platform Vessel, which requires a paid subscription, before making the content available on free, ad-supported services in a move to reach more consumers (see more).

This type of cross-promoting and streaming service is a marketing trend on the rise that bodes well for both brands. Kohl?s, Ram Trucks and Mary Kay will all benefit from accessing the country fan mobile user, just as Universal Music and Vessle will both gain from the partnership. 

It is important to be wherever the ideal consumer is, which is on mobile. Connecting on all these channels means a greater chance of meeting the needs of all fans and viewers. 

?Our goals at a high-level are two-fold,? said Mr. Gelick. ?First, we want to bring our audiences the content they want to watch on whichever platform they prefer, offering the live feed of the ACM Awards telecast to fans in these 15 markets is a big part of that. 

?Secondly, we want to take the super fans deeper into the shows and special events they love and we do that through our social and online programs like the ACM Awards' Fan Votes, which ultimately give the fans a say in who will win two of the night?s biggest awards as well as ACM Sessions and our Social Media Reporter initiatives," he said. 

Final Take
Brielle Jaekel is editorial assistant on Mobile Marketer and Mobile Commerce Daily, New York