Starz aggressively promotes ?Spartacus? with mobile content

Starz Entertainment is using mobile to promote its new television series ?Spartacus: Blood and Sand,? giving wireless users the power to stand up and say ?I am Spartacus!?

The network has launched several iPhone applications to market the series and drive revenue for the brand. Consumers can go mobile with a workout application, game and motion comics all branded Spartacus: Blood and Sand.

?Our strategy was to develop a number of content assets and partnerships that could both drive the marketing and awareness of our show Spartacus: Blood and Sand and also have the potential to drive revenue from the sales of some very compelling content,? said Marc DeBevoise, senior vice president of digital media, business development and strategy for Starz Media and lead executive for Starz Digital Media, New York.

Starz is a premium movie service and original TV series content provider operating in the United States. Its newest series, Spartacus: Blood and Sand, premieres Jan. 22.

Blood, sand and mobile
Spartacus: Blood and Sand stars Andy Whitfield as Spartacus and Lucy Lawless as Lucretia.

The game by Artificial Life is available in the App Store for $4.99.

The core demographic for the game is younger and will skew male, but Starz feels that a relatively broad audience should find this show accessible ? as long as they can take the blood.

Mr. DeBevoise said Starz believes games can expand the audience of the program.

Eberhard Schoneburg, CEO of Artificial Life, Berlin, said when his company first started developing the game in June 2009, the visual references from the show were limited, as post-production was still going on.

?We achieved a good balance between the original story and our creative inputs to produce this exciting title,? Mr. Schoneburg said. ?We also encountered challenges with the fast-changing consumers? behavior and pricing trends on the App Store.

?Researches and discussions with Starz Digital Media definitely assisted the decision making of the optimal positioning for the game launch,? he said.

?As an extension of a red-hot TV series on the mobile platform, we enriched the game with additional entertainment elements by integrating the TV cut scenes and featuring the Spartacus: Blood and Sand-related assets such as motion comic and podcasts for marketing.?

Macho mobile marketing
The workout application that was developed in partnership with Men?s Health magazine is free to download.

The workout was designed by Men's Health fitness experts to get anyone into fighting shape.

Mr. DeBevoise said he believes the partnership with Men?s Health will help bring in another audience segment the game and comics might not.

Spartacus motion comics are available via the App Store and other digital storefronts. Starz worked with Double Barrel Motion Labs for the four-part motion comic series.

Digital versions of the print comic book produced by Devil?s Due Publishing are also available in the App Store.

The various applications and digital content are being marketed across the different properties Starz developed.

Mr. DeBevoise said Starz make decisions on mobile marketing on a show-by-show, campaign-by-campaign basis, but it felt the opportunity to market and potentially make money at the same time was very compelling and made this a nice add-on part of its strategy for Spartacus.

?Given the subject matter and style of this program we felt these digital platforms were perfect for promoting the show and also help us reach a somewhat younger audience than typically watches our networks,? Mr. DeBevoise said.