Highlights from AdAge's Social TV event in NY

By Natan Edelsburg Comment

After navigating through the beast that is NYC’s midtown Hilton to the third floor, the social TV industry packed into a large ballroom as AdAge put on their social TV conference with brands and networks presenting what’s working, what’s not and what the future of the social TV industry will be. You can read AdAge’s recap here. Kraft Food’s Bonin Bough, Coca-Cola’s Jennifer Healan, WWE’s Jason Hoch, MLB Advanced Media’s Bob Bowman, ESPN’s john Kosner, VH1’s Kristin Frank, USA Network’s Jesse Redniss, CBSi’s Marc DeBevoise, Trendrr’s Mark Ghuneim and Twitter’s Joel Lunfeld were among the presenters.

Here are a few highlights:

Involving talent in the social TV conversation:

Not surprisingly, the panel that seemed to have garnered the most attention was when Kristin Frank presented on stage with one of the stars of their hit VH1 reality show, Mob Wives. Drita D’Avanzo, one of the wives, cooly, calmly and excitingly presented on how she was trained by VH1 execs as she prepared to become a big TV star. She described how it was the “little things,” that made a big difference. Frank described how she went from “under 500 followers to over 300,000.” The age of social TV is proving to bring marketers and talent closer together than ever before.

Social media big driver of CBS video traffic

Beet.tv caught up with CBS Interactive VP and General Manager Marc DeBevoise at the event, and he revealed that social media drives 15% of CBS’ online video views. Here’s the interview:

Facebook illustrates how it can help TV programmers

Facebook’s Kay Madati is increasingly visible at social TV events, and this was no exception. Beyond the usual success stories of Facebook pages and Timelines, Madati shared a fascinating idea from Facebook VP of product Chris Cox: that someday, perhaps, your DVR would automatically record a TV show based upon its popularity among your Facebook friends.

Viggle shares engagement data

The social TV loyalty app Viggle says 625,000 people have registered so far and the average session tops 93 minutes per user. Active Viggle members check in an average of five times each day and while checked in, engage an average of 15 times with Viggle games, videos and interactive ads. “We set out to enhance the TV experience and we’re seeing the results from our users who are hungry for more ways to interact with their favorite programming,” said Chris Stephenson, president of Viggle.

Kraft Foods investing in great content with MediaVest:

One of the most famous execs in the social world is Bonin Bough, formerly of Pepsico now the Vice President of Global Digital and Consumer Engagement at Kraft Foods. Bough took the stage with Amanda Richman the President of Digital at MediaVest who they worked with on a social TV campaign that involved Wheat Thins and The Colbert Report. Read (and watch) about this “sponsortunity” here and here. Bough described how this clip was, “four times more shared than clips on average,” referring to other Colbert clips.

Richman also described how they, “did some great work with Viggle and Miracle Whip, expanding the ABC Oscar’s Live event.” Brands seem to live the direct to rewards play Viggle seems to be owning. I’m still skeptical if the concept is encouraging distraction from broadcast TV, but had a lot of fun playing around with the app during the Superbowl.

Bough also discussed how with belVita they, “did the first ever ‘Clip and Share‘,” program, which “allowed users to go watch a clip online and share it with brand messaging,” with MTV content.

The future of social TV events:

Social TV events are the new popular way to capture how traditional media is being innovated and affected by the new tools and top thinkers. The way this $70 billion industry is changing provides endless great discussions, and we will be there to give you an inside look at each event. We hope to see more and more talent, directors, producers and show runners participating. In a traditional world, an “upfront” once a year with talent is enough, in a social TV world we want to see those on TV and making the TV part of this conversation. AdAge Social TV did a great job pushing this forward.