USA Sends 'Monk' Off With Marathon Text-to-TV Campaign
One week before the series finale of "Monk" on USA, the network ran a six-hour viewers' choice marathon. A rolling ticker appeared at the bottom of the screen, similar to those seen on cable and local news stations.
This ticker, however, scrolled text messages sent by "Monk" fans bidding the show farewell.
More than 25,000 fans sent 33,000 texts; most texts came in after 5 p.m. following the scroll launch. Texting was free but standard carrier rates applied.
Most people wrote goodbye notes to their favorite OCD-plagued detective: "From one OCD to another, Thank You, you make me feel quite normal," typed Janice. Others wrote shout-outs to their friends and even proposed marriage. Ixnay the text-to-TV marriage proposals. Am I alone here?
USA Network's in-house digital and mobile team created the campaign and concept, which allowed viewers to say goodbye to Adrian Monk.
"The concept of the campaign really called for the people who had so loved this character, Adrian Monk, to be able to express that in a public forum and to the greater community of 'Monk' fans," said Jesse Redniss, vice president of digital, USA Network.
The campaign was of minimal cost to USA and drove traffic to "Monk"'s" Web site, making it the third-most-visited TV site the week following the marathon, according to HitWise.
"This type of text-to-TV campaign was customized (other NBCU properties have done text-to-TV campaigns with different elements), specifically for the 'Monk' farewell campaign. The ticker provided a unique portal for fans to engage in real-time communications," concluded Redniss.