KCTV5 Launches Interactive News Campaign

KCTV5, a CBS affiliate in Kansas City, Mo., is embarking on an interactive ad campaign using short messaging service, otherwise known as texting.

KCTV has contracted Encino, Calif. firm POP Solutions to launch a series of efforts designed to connect KCTV and its advertisers to the station's audience via viewers' cell phones. News stories, for example, will allow viewers to weigh in by texting specified codes. Once a text is received, a response is automatically generated inviting the viewer to opt in for ongoing promos, reminders, ring tones, wallpapers and contest entries.

KCTV5 News Director Regent Ducas said the station became interested in the mobile marketing company after seeing a presentation it made at a recent Magid Institute conference for news directors. "I believe the viewers will find interactive news different and have another reason to watch," Ducas said.

Joe Gorelick, executive vice president of POP Solutions, said that once opted in, "the station captures data that results in a time-stamped database report with the respondent's cell phone number, usage, preferences and any other demographic and psychographic data collected as part of ongoing campaigns."

POP Solutions said the news campaigns could be run several times a day, increasing the station's interaction with the viewers. News-response arrangements are common on the Web, but not so much on TV, where SMS-ing has been more heavily used in entertainment shows like "American Idol." Advertisers have made their own direct connections, according to Brandweek. Pepsi initiated a texting campaign during National Football League games for fans to vote for Rookie of the Year.

POP was engaged last year by Ford, which sponsored a concert tour where fans were encouraged to text for backstage passes and go to the automaker's Web site to enter a contest to win a Lincoln Zephyr.