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No Stopping Till Everyone 'Likes' Katie

Disney-ABC uses wealth of social media to promote Couric’s new talker 8/20/2012 12:01:00 AM Eastern

When it comes to digital platforms, Disney-ABC’s new
syndicated talk show, Katie, has its bases well-covered.

Everything starts at KatieCouric.com, where the show’s
on-air and digital content branches out across the social media landscape.
Katie’s digital team is focusing first on Facebook and Twitter,
but Couric, formerly anchor of
the CBS Evening News and NBC’s
Today show, also already has a
strong presence on new social
media platforms such as Pinterest
and Instagram. Couric’s online
presence is being used both to
promote her new talk show, which
launches Sept. 10 on TV stations
across the country, and to connect
and engage with viewers once they
start watching.

“Facebook and Twitter are must-haves for any social media strategy,”
says David Kite, Disney-ABC Domestic Television’s (DADT) vice president
of marketing. “Facebook is a great place on which to put content
and have conversations, while Twitter is a great place to put the word
out. Both tools are heavily integrated into the show going forward.”

It helps that Couric already has established quite a following on both
sites; she has more than 76,000 likes on Facebook and nearly a half-million
followers on Twitter. Couric already is “an established social media
brand, and she’s constantly generating social content on her own,” says
Derek Dodge, Katie’s supervising producer of integrated media.

The team also is working with two outside companies to help its
affiliate stations get the word out about Katie.

New York-based Buddy Media allows Team Katie to take KatieCouric.com
and push it out to affiliate websites across the country. “KatieCouric.com
is this big, thick website, and Buddy Media compresses it down to a
single page,” says Kite. “If I’m the local station in San Francisco and I
want to put the light version of KatieCouric.com on my station website,
then I can just embed a little code. The station guys can then set
it and forget it.”

Disney-ABC also is working with Seattle-based Mixpo, which takes
video advertising and makes it dynamic, interactive and geo-targeted.
For example, if someone in Los Angeles is surfing the Web and clicks
on a video on MSN.com, Yahoo! Entertainment or USMagazine.com, a
promotion for Katie starts running
before the video, and that promo is
followed by a bumper from KABC,
perhaps promoting the station’s
evening newscast. The Katie promo
also could include a locally branded
news ticker, informing wouldbe
viewers of what’s happening on
the station right now. Katie’s online
promos will start airing the first
week of September.

“We have a platform that makes
it really easy to take TV spots, put them online and get the best out
of them,” says Walter Harp, vice president of product management
for Mixpo.

“When we developed this platform four years ago, it was based on
a belief that video was going to be big, which has proven to be true,
and a belief that advertisers would need videos that were more engaging
and interactive. They also needed a simple way to remove all of
that technological complexity,” which is the functionality that Mixpo
provides, says Anupam Gupta, Mixpo CEO.

Mixpo makes it easy for stations to update their promos, allowing
them to upload and post new videos via an online dashboard.

Says Sal Sardo, DADT executive VP, marketing: “The goal for all of
the Katie promotions in TV rotation now is to remind viewers of the
‘fun side’ of Katie’s personality, and to showcase the personal connection
that she can make.”

E-mail comments to palbiniak@gmail.com
and follow her on Twitter: @PaigeA

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