MasterCard is going mobile.
The brand will be integrating its products into Fox TV mobisodes, or short episodes designed for mobile phones. The 26 episodes are titled Bones: Skeleton Crew, based on the network’s series Bones.
This week, Sprint began offering its customers access to the mobisodes, which follows three Jeffersonian Institute lab technicians putting their skills to the test and their lives on the line in the hope of solving a mystery and staving off impending disaster (one of the characters uses a MasterCard to make a purchase). The content will also appear on Fox.com beginning Dec. 4.
“The Bones Mobisodes serve as the latest example of the organization’s ongoing strategy to integrate its brand and products into key programming in a way that truly engages consumers,” MasterCard said. “And while national television continues to be the best way to provide content to consumers in the masses, new and emerging media is becoming a bigger player than ever before.”
Online co-branded banner ads on Fox.com and Fox.com/Bones as well as on-air mentions during Bones broadcasts support. MasterCard will also drive traffic to Fox.com/Bones with teaser banners.
The mobisodes add to MasterCard’s growing involvement with online efforts.
Last month, MasterCard sponsored Lost Beginnings and Lost Connections, online components of ABC TV’s show Lost, on ABC.com. And in August, MasterCard and TNT collaborated on Late: A MasterCard Mini-Drama. The two-minute original film integrated MasterCard card products in a high-speed adventure, which premiered in the film Runaway Jury on TNT. The piece also ran across TNT on Demand, as well as on Priceless.com.
Fueling MasterCard’s efforts are statistics from Neilsen/NetRatings that found that accessing the Internet from a wireless device was the No. 1 online activity among users that make $100,000 or more each year, the company said.
“Early adapters and the affluent are at the core of who we’re trying to reach,” said Michael Lao, the VP of media for MasterCard Worldwide. With consumers exposed to more than 5,000 marketing messages every day, “We needed to find a way to integrate the brand into spaces very relevant to them,” he said.
As a result, MasterCard is continuing to explore opportunities for brand integration including a sponsorship of Discovery Channel’s Future 2057 series slated for next year. MasterCard will integrate with the program’s video-on-demand, mobile, Google maps and podcast components, the company said.
“With new and emerging media playing even more of a role in engaging consumers, we view the space, and our opportunity within it, as a mechanism to seamlessly integrate our brand into content and demonstrate how consumers can use our products in all kinds of situations,” Lao said.
Purchase, NY-based MasterCard’s media agency, GSD&M, Austin, TX, handles.