Text Answer Firm, Warner Bros. In Promo Deal

KGB-Sherlock Holmes


Text answer company kgb542542 has positioned itself as the company that can sleuth out the answers to the most difficult questions. So it only makes sense that the company would partner with the world's most famous fictional sleuth.

The company has entered into a cross-marketing deal with the upcoming Warner Brothers release, "Sherlock Holmes." The multiplatform program will include television advertising, an online contest, national radio advertising and a mobile text promotion.

"We get lots of stuff around movies and actresses and actresses and film times. It's a natural opportunity to reach people about a subject their asking," Bruce Stewart, CEO of kgb Mobile and Digital, tells Marketing Daily. "Our partnership is a highly contextual fit between the greatest detective in history and kgb -- the smartest text answer service in the world. We are a personal 'answer detective' for millions of users who send us tough questions every day."



A new television ad promoting the text service features footage of the 18th century detective (played by Robert Downey Jr.) as he supposedly asks a question of the kgb "Special Agents" (who find the answers to the questions users send in). "He needs to know what this poison is," says one agent. "Elementary, my dear," starts another before being cut off and informed that Sherlock Holmes actually never uttered that phrase. They answer the question, and a clip from the movie shows Holmes expressing relief on "having someone on whom I can thoroughly rely."

"We sort of had a lot of fun with that TV ad," Stewart says. "We worked on it with Warner Bros. to make sure the tone and temperament of the ad fit the movie."

To deepen the partnership, tickets to advance screenings of the film will be printed with "Sherlock Holmes" trivia and messaging driving people to text kgb542542 to find out the answer. Kgb will also offer tickets to screenings and other merchandise via sweepstakes on its Web site, and will sponsor prizes for radio call-in promotions. In addition, users who text "Sherlock" to kgb's service will receive access to behind-the-scenes facts and trivia about the film.

As the first film partnership for the company, "Sherlock Holmes" was a perfect fit not only because of content, but also through demographics, Stewart says. "Our audience is all over movies this time of year. They're communicating and having conversations and making plans."

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