SMS & Mobile-Enhanced TV

SMS & Mobile-Enhanced TV

Ok, I admit it.  I’m a Michael Westen fan (Finoa is pretty cool too!). 

Michael is the blacklisted spy, in the USA Network show “Burn Notice”, running around Miami doing good deeds for others while trying to figure out who “burned” him—that is, trumped up a story on him and got him kicked out of the spy business.  It is not a very deep show, but certainly is fun to watch.  You should check it out, it airs Thursday nights on USA Network

While I do enjoy the show, but what I really like about it is its mobile presence.  The producers and marketers of the show have done a very good job of integrating mobile, including text messaging and the mobile Internet, into the fabric of the show’s experience. 

I suspect that most viewers will learn about the Burn Notice mobile programs one of two ways, either while watching the show and seeing the call-to-action on TV (See Figure 1, also note—according to comScore 2008 a little over 27% text messaging opt-ins originate from TV) and/or their broadband web site, (see Figure 2). 

The Text Channel

Lets us not forget that text messaging is still the most universally used and ubiquitous mobile channel out there.  In the U.S. we’re exchanging over a billion text messages daily, in fact, according to Nielson Mobile (2008) we send more text messages per month on average than we use voice minutes, 353 to 204 respectively.   The show invites you to opt-in to the burn notice text alert service, and over the last few weeks since I’ve joined I’ve been pleasantly surprised the diversity of the content and experience that they’ve offered.   Moreover, the show is engaging me in an informative and entertaining fashion not just when I watch it but throughout the week and month or so since I’ve opted in. Here are just a few experiences they’ve used:

  • Trivia, both about past episodes as well as spy tricks
  • Games—get the right answer you’re a “super spy”
  • New episode air-time remainders

The following are just a few of the messages I’ve received:

  • The show sends out trivia questions about what happened in previous episodes; for example: “BN: Where does Michael hide the magnet?  BN2: Backpack, BN2: Briefcase BN3: Sack Txt BN1, BN2, BN3 by 2/11 Presented by Saab.   Rules:”.

Screen from the TV “Call-to-action” Text BURN to 872898

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Michael Becker is an intentionally recognized identity & personal information management solutions strategic advisor, speaker, entrepreneur, and academic. He advises companies on personal information economy business strategy, product development, business development, and sales & marketing strategies. He also represents them at leading trade groups, including the Mobile Ecosystem Forum. Michael is an advisor to Assurant, Predii, Privowny, and Phoji. He is the co-author of Mobile Marketing for Dummies and a number of other books and articles related to mobile marketing, identity, and personal information management. He is on the faculty of marketing of the Association of National Advertisers and National University. A serial entrepreneur, Michael founded Identity Praxis, co-founded mCordis and The Connected Marketer Institute, was a founding member of the Mobile Marketing Association (MMA), and was on the MMA board of directors for ten years and was MMA’s North American Managing Director for three years. In 2004, Michael co-founded iLoop Mobile, a leading messaging solutions provider. In 2014, Michael was awarded the 2014 Marketing EDGE Edward Mayer Education Leadership Award for his commitment to marketing education.


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