MTV launches social game to 'woo' viewers

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MTV launched a social game on Facebook on August 24 to engage consumers and increase viewership of its programming.

The network partnered with Stone Creek Entertainment, a video game creator, on the effort.

The “I Woo You” game mimics a dating game, allowing consumers to “date” cast members from its shows, like The Real World.  MTV has tested the game in beta for about six weeks.

There are contests and polls within the game, such as “best dressed avatar” and “best date scenes.” Players can win virtual gifts or currency.

Other brands, such as the Golden Nugget casino, The Discovery Channel, and American Family Insurance have created social networking games on Facebook within the past two months.

Damon Burrell, VP of marketing at MTV, said there are tentative plans to roll out mobile, iPad and iTouch versions early next year.

“The true strategic question is how does your brand engage with your audience in a relevant and valuable way?” said Burrell. “We feel that this is one of those ways for us to be able to do that in a fun and engaging manner.”

Burrell said MTV's overall goal is to build its viewing audience.

“From a marketing perspective, one of the things that we've learned is that the more that we can get people to engage with content or digital elements of our show, the higher [number] will watch and tell other people about it,” he said. “So, if I can get the fans of the show to engage with this game, and then also tell 10 of their friends who may not be watching, that gives us the ability to increase additional viewers.”

Burrell also noted that there is a social economy built into the game. Players can earn “Woo Coins” when they play. They can also use real money, from $1 to $30 to buy “Woo Coins.”

MTV is targeting females, ages 12 to 24, with the game, said Burrell.

MTV will measure the number of consumers playing the game, the quantity of avatars created and customized, the number of gifts given and requested, the length of game play, the amount of virtual currency generated and the number of dates players go on.

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