Verizon Wireless is partnering with MTV on "Valemont," a new short-form series premiering Sept. 29 that will appear on television, online and mobile via the wireless carrier's V Cast Mobile TV service.
The show's first 12 two-and-a-half-minute episodes will air in commercial pods directly preceding MTV's "The Hills" and following "The City," with the remaining 23 appearing on MTV.com and V Cast. Capitalizing on the current vampire craze, "Valemont" focuses on an 18-year-old girl who discovers he may have been killed by a group of student vampires while investigating his disappearance.
Verizon phones are designed to tie into the story line, with each episode beginning with a video clip or text message providing clues to characters within the show as well as to viewers. Fans can register to receive SMS messages directly through an interactive game at ValuemontU.com.
In addition to the mobile integration, a five-second Verizon Wireless billboard will close each new episode, driving users to additional, mobile-only content on V CAST. The show is also making a big push onto social media, offering a Valemont University Flickr account, a Valemont Facebook account and in-character Twitter accounts users can follow.
If that were not enough, MTV and Verizon will also promote Valemont University as a "real" educational institution with listings on Ratemyprofessor.com, mtvU.com and on VerizonWireless.com/Valemont.
Verizon has not disclosed how many V Cast subscribers it has, but most mobile video is being watched via the Web rather than by paying for a special carrier package, according to Nielsen Mobile. By tying into original programming from content providers like MTV, Verizon is clearly hoping to pull in young, mobile-centric viewers. Both companies are also trying to make mobile a natural extension of promotions across TV, online and social media.