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Bravo cable network relies heavily on mobile

Cable television network Bravo has a robust mobile strategy for its programs to better engage counsumers.

About four years ago, Bravo ran a poll during the Project Runway finale asking viewers to vote for who they think should win the fashion competition. After that poll, Bravo completely changed its marketing strategy and embraced the mobile platform. Now the network produces exclusive mobile content, runs mobile fan clubs and continues to poll viewers.

?Our strategy evolved over the years,? said Lisa Hsia, senior vice president of digital media at Bravo, New York. ?We decided to let fans vote, but it did not have an impact on the outcome, we did it on a lark to get into the mobile space and we got incredibly responses.

?Hundreds of thousands of impassioned fans gauged the topic," Ms. Hsia said. ?Fans have come back time and time again and respond with engaged participation,? she said. ?They use mobile in all different kinds of ways.?

Bravo is a cable network from NBC Universal Cable Entertainment, a division of NBC Universal. Popular Bravo brands include Top Chef, Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List and The Real Housewives franchise.

Embracing mobile
Ms. Hsia said Bravo has had continued success on the mobile platform, especially with SMS polls.

The network now offers prizes and announces results during the original airing of shows such as Top Chef in an effort to further engage viewers.
Besides various SMS polls, Bravo takes advantage of the mobile platform with mobile fan clubs and a WAP site with exclusive content.

On the WAP site,, users can chat with other users. Ms. Hsia said the network sees people who are in transit ask what is happening on the program, since they are not able to be in front of the TV.

?Viewers are getting engaged outside of the show,? Ms. Hsia said.

Bravo?s mobile fan clubs let viewers engage with talent via question-and-answer sections and provide SMS alerts about upcoming programming, often with exclusive tidbits.

Embracing the mobile platform is part of the network?s overall 360-degree marketing strategy, which includes interviews before and after the show, blogs and exclusive content on the mobile platform.

Diet Coke sponsors Bravo?s mobile fan clubs and Toyota sponsors Top Chef?s mobile video series, Slice and Dice Showdown, hosted by Top Chef judge Toby Young.

?Mobile is integrated into everything we do at Bravo ? there is a mobile element to every show,? Ms. Hsia said. ?With our WAP site, not only do viewers get normal Web content, you can get exclusive video.?

The network?s live voting is approximately 50 percent mobile to 50 percent Web voting. Response rates for trivia on the mobile fan club is 25 percent.

Ms. Hsia said TV networks need to embrace the mobile platform.

?It is a platform that reaches new audiences ? it gives Bravo programming a vechicle of communication that can get anywhere,? Ms. Hsia said. ?You don?t need to watch TV to interact with Bravo.

?Mobile brings a different level of entertainment,? she said.

Bravo looks at mobile and on-air programming as being interlinked. For example with mobile, users can interact with TV personalities during a digital viewing party for the Top Chef reunion show.

Bravo viewers are upscale, affluent and very tech-savvy according to Bravo.

?You can speak to the TV or maybe to the people in the room, but with mobile you have the opportunity to have a real back and forth,? Ms. Hsia said.