Spike Lee’s Latest ‘Joint’ Touts Verizon

NEW YORK Screenvision and Verizon Wireless have partnered to create pre-movie entertainment, which includes the launch of the first in-cinema interactive text message polling program for moviegoers and branded entertainment produced and directed by Spike Lee and Verizon.

In mid-June, Screenvision and Verizon will roll out a polling program to ask moviegoers questions related to their music preferences, with audience results shown on the screen. Test markets include Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Detroit, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C.

“Progressive advertisers, like Verizon Wireless, are always looking at opportunities to make their messages more interactive or integrated to reach consumers. But for the consumers themselves, this is a way for them to integrate what they do normally [using their handset devices] with what they are seeing on the screen,” said Stu Ballatt, svp of marketing for Screenvision.

Though sponsored by Verizon, the interactive program is compatible with all handsets and carriers.

Ballatt emphasized the branded entertainment aspect. Spike Lee directed a two-minute original piece about Verizon’s mobile V Cast network that features musical artists Chris Cornell and Timbaland. The short, “V Cast Street,” is intended to be an entertaining journey through the V Cast net. It includes music, sports, TV, movies and games.

“Where you would normally get a 20-minute Screenvision experience of entertainment content and other advertising exhibitor messaging, this flight will be different in that you will get a long-form branded entertainment experience from Verizon Wireless,” said Ballatt.

Ballatt added that both Screenvision and Verizon are continuing to experiment with creating branded interactive entertainment for moviegoers. “This is a new frontier for cinema advertising,” he said.