Texas TV station launches mobile traffic service
Houston-based television station KHCW-TV has partnered with mobile marketing firm 3rd Dimension to launch a traffic service.
The KHCW Traffic Jam Cell Cams is a free mobile service that helps local drivers avoid traffic. The CW network affiliate has a nightly news show with traffic alerts, but wanted to reach consumers during commuting hours.
“Since we don't offer [morning and afternoon news shows], we chose mobile to be with them wherever they are, whenever they want,” said Roger Bare, VP and general manager of KHCW-TV, Tribune Broadcasting Company, Houston. “It's a real brand extender.”
Mobile users can view near real-time traffic images from any of the cameras along their route and program keys on their phone to personalize the service.
More than 600 traffic cameras, operated by Houston TranStar, are mounted along freeways, tollways and some major intersections in the region, ostensibly to facilitate transportation and emergency management.
The program is trying to reach the 18-24 year old demographic. Bare said that this audience is more likely to be experimental with the mobile channel.
KHCW is in negotiations with automakers and other local businesses to run ads on the mobile software. The ads will run on the device while the traffic cam is loading, over the “buffering” signal.
In early 2007, 3rd Dimension worked on a similar campaign with WCBSNewsradio 880 in New York. In 2008, the mobile services firm aims to roll out the platform to additional markets across the country.
“This will be the year of convergence of the personal navigation device with the mobile device,” said Bruce Laskin, COOof 3rd Dimension.