Hallmark touts online content

LOS ANGELES: The Hallmark Channel hopes to promote its latest films and widen its target audience by encouraging viewers to participate with content online.

LOS ANGELES: The Hallmark Channel hopes to promote its latest films and widen its target audience by encouraging viewers to participate with content online.

To raise awareness for its holiday film, The Note, premiering December 8, the network this week launched a microsite for users to post personalized messages to family and friends.

In line with the movie's plot - in which a journalist finds a plane-crash victim's hastily written note and attempts to deliver it by Christmas - microsite visitors can e-mail loved ones that a message is waiting for them at www.hallmarkchannel.com.

With this consumer-generated approach, the microsite helps viewers become more invested in the movie itself, said Nancy Carr, Hallmark Channel's SVP of corporate communications. Users are rewarded for taking part with a sneak peak at the film.

Earlier this month, the network also introduced a new consumer Web site and microsites dedicated to upcoming programming, said Hallmark Channel SVP of creative services Marvin Dorson.

More than streaming video, the sites employ social networking, including community groups where users can share video clips, post photos, and blog about programming.

These newly launched components hope to provide visitors with new entryways to the brand, Dorson noted.

"That adds up to increased site traffic, and increased time spent online," he explained.

The famously Baby Boomer-skewing network will also leverage the microsites to attract a younger audience. On November 1, for example, the Web site began streaming its younger-targeted original series Adoption on a microsite.

The network's ongoing outreach is being handled in-house.

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