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Showtime propels same-day tune-ins via New York Times iPad ad

Showtime is pulling out all the mobile bells and whistles for a new advertising campaign that will launch on Sunday as a takeover unit on the New York Times iPad application.

Showtime is using the ad to promote its ?Ray Donovan? show that also premiers on Sunday and the media buy will include in-banner and auto-play video clips. The ads were developed with Medialets with the media buy handled by OMD.

"Our research has shown that the audience for Ray Donovan are news junkies who over index on both mobile and tablet usage," said Don Buckley, executive vice president of program marketing and digital services at Showtime Networks, New York.

"Our marketing efforts aimed to allow consumers the ability to sample the series, whether in short-form video or full-episode viewing, allowing them to fully experience Ray Donovan's cinematic scale," he said.

"Because New York Times has the ability to do innovative executions, we wanted to work on something new with them. In this case it is both the full-frame, edge-to-edge video in the banners as well as the interactive trailer." 

Mobile showtime
Showtime will run full-page interstitial ads and expandable banners within the New York Times app.

According to the New York Times, this is the first time that video will play within every banner and interstitial ad within the company's iPad app. A video featuring the two-and-a-half minute trailer will play.

While a trailer for the show plays, consumers can tap on the screen to learn more about the show and Ray ? the show?s main character ? who is played by Liev Schreiber.

The additional content is connected to specific frames of the video.

Towards the end of the trailer, a couple of different calls-to-action encourage consumers to engage further with Showtime.

For example, consumers can download a free episode of the series premiere to their device.

There is also an option to download the song that is featured in the trailer via iTunes or to download the Showtime Anywhere app from Apple?s App Store. The Showtime Anywhere app is tied to a user?s Showtime subscription and lets consumers watch full-length programs.

Tuned-in users
Showtime has used mobile advertising in the past to trigger same day tune-ins for its shows.

For example, last year the company ran a takeover campaign on Pandora with a campaign that encouraged consumers to watch the season premieres of its ?Weeds? and ?Episdoes? shows (see story).

Nowadays consumers are tied to their smartphones and tablets while they watch TV and mobile advertising can be used as a push to get consumers to watch particular shows.

Leveraging the full Showtime trailer within an ad unit points to the growing appetite that consumers have for mobile video, which is a trend that is likely to only increase in the future.

?There is a strong intersection between Showtime's audience and owners of smartphones and tablet devices,? said Theo Skye, executive creative director at Medialets, New York.

?Additionally, a mobile campaign provides unique interaction opportunities and allows users to access functionality that is pertinent to media distribution channels, such as the ability to download video and audio content or even apps directly to their mobile devices,? he said.

Final Take
Lauren Johnson is associate reporter on Mobile Marketer, New York