IQ News: CTI’s Interactive Games Get Multi-level Ad Push

In support of today’s official unveiling of the interactive TV versions of popular game shows Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune, Columbia TriStar Interactive is launching a multi-platform marketing campaign with the tagline “Watch! Play! Win!” The multi-million dollar marketing effort will include a mix of on-air, print, retail, online and sweepstakes components.
“I think this is the first campaign of its kind, of this magnitude, to promote interactive programming,” claimed Andrew Schneider, vice president of programming at Culver City, Calif.-based CTI. The company has partnered with WebTV and Sony Electronics, which will provide prizes for winners of the interactive games and sweepstakes contestants.
Beginning today, the interactive versions of Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune, which allow consumers to play along with the TV shows, will be available through WebTV Plus set-top box units.
The enhancements for the two programs, which will be accessible to viewers five days a week in syndication, were developed by CTI and Los Angeles-based Mixed Signals Technologies, a developer of interactive TV tools.
Schneider said that the enhanced programs are produced to meet the specifications set forth by cross-industry group the Advanced Television Enhancement Forum, allowing any future set-top units which comply to the specs to carry CTI’s interactive programming.
Interactive Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune will also appear on cable channel Game Show Network, which is owned by Sony Pictures Entertainment.
Schneider was not able to name specific advertisers, but said, “We’re looking for ad partners to come on board and participate with us and see what works best. I think we’ve created a compelling direct-marketing vehicle through our registration database and the game play itself.”
WebTV is expected to launch a complementary marketing campaign with the tagline “Interact to Win!”