Discovery texting viewers to tune in and download

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The Discovery Channel is promoting its shows with a series of mobile campaigns powered by Third Screen Media and Verizon.

After success with using mobile in conjunction with its documentary fishing series "Deadliest Catch," the cable channel has plans to launch 12 to 14 more mobile campaigns. The campaign, which appeared on Verizon's Wireless portal, VZW Today, generated a 2 percent click-through rate from banner ads.

"Mobile communications gets us one step closer to the people watching our shows," said Chris Schembri, senior vice president of media planning and partnerships at Discovery Communications, Silver Springs, MD.

Third Screen Media, a wholly-owned subsidiary of AOL's, manages and serves mobile advertisements for the Discovery Channel's "Deadliest Catch" and the Discovery Health Channel. Discovery Channel also works in conjunction with its New York ad agency PHD, an Omnicom media company.

The spots run during each featured show. They direct viewers to text in or visit Discovery's mobile promotion WAP site for information and downloads. Mobile content offered to "Deadliest Catch" fans includes wallpapers, ringtones, crew bios, show facts, sneak peeks, the captain's quotes and even mobisodes, episodes that can be viewed on the mobile device. Viewers who opted in to receive mobile communications from the television station would receive updates on promotions and show times two weeks prior to the show airing.

Future campaigns will be tested, but current plans include similar offerings. Mobile users can also play mobile polls and quizzes.

The new campaigns are aimed at the rising number of multitasking consumers.

"An exorbitantly high number of people are using the mobile device while they are watching TV," said Jeff Janer, chief marketing officer of Third Screen Media, Boston. "People are not just sitting back on the couch and watching TV, but they are immersing themselves in into the context. We are trying to engage them while they are watching." n

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