Advanced Ads: AT&T AdWorks Drove Fox's College Football with Interactive Campaign

Campaign, Sweepstakes Boosted Awareness for Networks' Early-Season Schedule

New York -- When it came to boosting awareness of its 2012 college football slate, Fox Sports scored with a game plan that included an interactive media campaign with AT&T AdWorks.

The custom initiative on AT&T U-verse’s advanced IPTV platform centered on a dedicated interactive channel, a sweepstakes and promotional and media support, said Chris Monteferrante, vice president of U-verse Media Sales, AT&T Adworks, during a keynote address here Wednesday afternoon at the Advanced Advertising conference, presented by Multichannel News and B&C.

With college pigskin presentations on Fox, FX, Fox Sports Regional Networks and its trio of Fox College Sports services, the programmer wanted to ensure that AT&T subscribers knew what channel(s) to tune in order to watch the most appealing matchup(s).

To that end, Monteferrante said AT&T AdWorks created an iChannel that listed the contests, airtimes and network information. This data was updated weekly to give U-verse subs a reason to return over the course of the campaign's five-week period from Aug. 27 through Sept. 28, 2012. Moreover, Fox was able to administer a “pick-em” sweepstakes, wherein users aspired to select the victors in 13 weekly games. Participants entered their email and mobile digits to keep informed of the results and whether they won a $100 gift card to or the grand prize trip for four to the Fox-televised Cotton Bowl.

Those components were flanked by listings in U-verse’s Interactive Program Guide and menu page, as well as 30-second spots that ran across 31 networks aimed at male sports fans 18 to 34 via a quartet of “bundles”: men, sports, adult and Gen XY viewers.  All told, the media plan comprised just under 1,800 spots that generated 11.7 million household impressions within U-verse’s 4.5 million subscriber universe. The promos for Fox’s college football were cut to 22 seconds, leaving the last eight for an audio/visual overlay that pointed viewers to the iChannel and sweepstakes.

Monteferrante said the interactive initiative authored strong results for Fox’s college football across a number of metrics, with a top line of 226,243 iChannel visits over the span, which was 20% greater than the dozens of previous AT&T interactive network-driven campaigns. Moreover, there was consistent usage as there were 45,355 application launches on average per week. 

From the sweepstakes perspective, Monteferrante said that 64% of those who visited the iChannel went to the appropriate page. Some 44% of the unique households that checked the sweepstakes page voted at least once, with the number of completions, including repeats “pickers,” reaching some 50,000 in total, and 9,789 per week on average. That was more five times than AT&T Adworks 2011-12 weekly sweepstakes completion benchmark.

Monteferrante, who invited conference attendees to visit AT&T AdWorks media lab in Manhattan at 810 Seventh Avenue, attributed the campaign’s success to interest in content that was supported by “targeted media, a great viewer experience and the rich sweepstakes offering.”

He noted after his presentation that such interactive campaigns can benefit programmers looking to raise the profile of upcoming projects, as well as results for non-programmers, including clients in the financial and automotive categories.