The CW details new ad initiatives

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Along with Dawn Ostroff, departing President of Entertainment, and Mark Pedowitz, the new President of The CW releasing their new fall schedule 5/19 at The CW’s upfront presentation in NYC, Rob Tuck, EVP/National Sales,  discussed two first-of-their-kind sales programs for the 2011-2012 broadcast season.


The CW will be the exclusive television partner of the mobile smartphone app “shopkick,” which rewards The CW viewers with special discounts and rewards from advertisers while they watch.  The CW has also created a fully sponsorable game, “Cwingo,” that viewers play online and through Facebook during the live broadcasts of CW shows. Shopkick is the largest mobile shopping app in America.

“The CW is always looking for new ways to bring our advertisers into our eco-system of on-air, online, and social media and we have two very exciting new platforms this year,” said Tuck. “Cwingo and shopkick really bring the second screen to life, enhancing the overall viewing experience in a way that our advertisers have been asking for and connecting them with our young viewers where they live and breathe – through social media and directly on their mobile devices.”

“Shopkick’s first network partnership with The CW is a revolution for advertisers. The cell phone is the only interactive medium that consumers have with them while they are watching television, and while they are shopping in the store,” said Cyriac Roeding, CEO and co-founder of shopkick. “The CW and shopkick together make use of this for the first time in a seamless, simple way.”

Advertisers on The CW can reward users for watching their commercials with shopkick’s “reward kicks” and with special on-screen discount offers designed to drive viewers into the store.  With on-screen alerts, viewers will be reminded to open the shopkick app on their smartphone to receive exclusive deals.  Using the smartphone’s mic, the shopkick app will automatically recognize the TV commercial when it is watched to deliver instant rewards in the form of “kicks” and unlock special offers from advertisers on their featured branded products.

With this measurable brand interaction, The CW and shopkick can now help advertisers close the loop in the purchase cycle for the first time, from ads on the TV screen all the way to the purchase of a specific product. Shopkick is available on both iPhone and Android platforms.

“Cwingo,” a bingo game with a CW twist, connects with viewers through Facebook while also driving them to watch The CW live on-air in order to play and win.  “Cwingo” is a mobile-ready site, so viewers can play on smartphones as well as computers, and the “Cwingo” card is fully sponsorable for advertisers.

Viewers challenge their Facebook friends to prove who’s the biggest fan, while playing along with their favorite CW shows.  The “Cwingo” card, which viewers connect to through Facebook or directly on CWTV.com, features different scenes from an upcoming CW show as well as commercials airing during that episode. 

During the live episode, viewers click the scenes as they see them appear on-air.  If viewers correctly click five scenes in-a-row and hit “Cwingo” they receive a special social badge for their Facebook profile, and are entered to win bigger weekly and monthly prizes, like a trip to the set of their favorite CW show.

RBR-TVBR observation: This is a pretty big endeavor with shopkick — technically and logistically. Participating retailers will have to be briefed on how this works, nationwide. Viewers bringing in their smartphones and flashing screens, offers and possibly barcodes at the cashiers may not work as easily as anticipated. But the effort looks to be worth it – it gives each participating commercial spot some real legs. It could also prove much easier than printing out coupons or special offers received via email.