Current TV Partners With T-Mobile for UGC

NEW YORK Current TV has partnered with T-Mobile to ask its customer base to create ads focused on the new Sidekick LX cellphone.

The partnership falls under Current TV’s “Viewer-Created Ad Messages” initiative, launched two years ago. The tagline associated with the phone is: “How the super connected stay connected.”

The creative brief, which appeared on the site last week, asks users: “What about always being connected is interesting, funny or ironic? What are the benefits, or drawbacks, to always being on and plugged in? What would it feel like to lose your Sidekick? What would the ramifications be? How would life be different?”

“We provide a creative brief that we collaborate on with our advertisers to create advertising that works not only for them, but for our viewers who tell us they prefer [user-generated content] nine to one to traditional advertising,” said Joshua Katz, Current’s president of marketing. Working toward that end, Current TV has been converting about 50 percent of its advertiser inventory to viewer-created messages.

Katz pointed to research conducted by consultancy Byron Media that found 90 percent of Current TV’s user base prefers viewer-created ads because they are perceived as being more authentic.

“It’s a way for young adults to share passion for a product, and communicate in a way that’s genuine. It is [also] a way for our advertisers to create youth-oriented advertising that is distinctive and real but within a safe confine,” he said.

The campaign concludes on Feb. 25.