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CBS runs interactive mobile campaign to promote miniseries

CBS is turning to mobile to promote its upcoming 13-episode murder mystery event, "Harper's Island," which premiered yesterday.

The television network is using mobile advertising provider Apptera's MobileAd Xchange. By understanding millions of callers' affinities for particular movies, Apptera is enabling CBS to target and customize their message precisely to an audience most likely to be interested in "Harper's Island."

"Apptera is helping CBS to get more people to watch their programming and engage with the content, and we're doing it in a very effective, efficient manner," said Henry Vogel, CEO of Apptera, San Bruno, CA. "We're filtering for just mobile callers, and the primary goal is to help CBS build buzz with a very attractive audience of viewers, entertainment-savvy, mobile trend-spreaders in the 18-to-34 range.

"The opportunity for CBS is to deploy highly personal, contextually relevant voice ads, a one-to-one type of messaging that is highly targeted," he said. "We're targeting specific movie titles, thrillers and action-oriented films that appeal to the show's likely demographic."

CBS' "Harper's Island" is a 13-episode murder mystery about a group of family and friends who travel to a secluded island for a destination wedding.

As the wedding festivities begin, friendships are tested and secrets exposed as a murderer claims victims, one by one, transforming the wedding week of fun and celebration into a terrifying struggle for survival.

Apptera powers a voice and visual mobile ad network, generating revenue for leading players in the entertainment, communications, social media, financial services, retail and other industries.

Apptera's MobileAd Xchange delivers relevant voice advertisements in-call as well as follow-on visual components, such as SMS messages and MMS coupons.

Members of the Mobile Ad Xchange and customers of Apptera's technology include AOL's Moviefone, MovieTickets.com, AT&T's 1-800-YellowPages, Bank of America, SaveMart supermarkets, RadioShack, GSI Commerce and HeyCosmo's Blaster social planning service.

Apptera aggregates 50 to 60 million calls per year.

Under the interactive CBS program powered by Apptera, consumers who call AOL's Moviefone (777-FILM) or MovieTickets.com (877-789-MOVIE) for show time information or advance ticket purchases for thematically related movies are served audio ads promoting the "Harper's Island" series.

Additionally, callers dialing from mobile devices can opt-in to receive weekly Buzzz Alerts, SMS reminders designed to engage fans and mobilize tune-in to "Harpers Island" throughout the 13-week run of the series.

CBS' contextually relevant messages, typically 10-to-15-second audio clips, will be heard by the entertainment-oriented, young and mobile target audience.

An example of an audio ad follows:

"If you like ?Watchmen' [eerie sounds] you're gonna love ?Harper's Island.' 13 weeks, 25 suspects, 1 killer. [Woman screams] This special mystery television event premieres on April 9th, only on CBS. To get an SMS reminder and more info before each episode, press 9 now."

CBS is also targeting callers to the HeyCosmo Blaster service, a social planning tool that is in Apptera's new mobile generation channel.

The 13 weekly Buzzz Alerts will remind callers to tune-in Thursdays at 10 p.m. EST (9 p.m. Central) on CBS and provide details about the show and other related content.

Users may opt out of remaining Buzzz Alerts any time.

"This is one of the only channels that can guarantee that CBS's target audience will hear their message -- it's all measured," Mr. Vogel said. "We're able to track ad plays and tell them exactly how many people hear their advertising.

"With so much ad blindness these days, this channel we're growing is an incredibly effective medium to communicate with your target audience," he said. "We're seeing very high opt-in rates for the Buzzz Alerts, which is a way for CBS to communicate with viewers on an ongoing basis."