Why marketers should harness the power of a TV channel Starmark Innovation Lab

When Apple announced the new AppleTV and tvOS, they created new opportunities for marketers. This is when the Starmark Lab jumped in to understand the implications of developing apps for TVs.

How can a TV channel be used by marketers for new customer acquisition, brand loyalty, or just to communicate with customers? We had to know!

What we did know is that brands that own a TV channel are masters of their destinies. And with ownership, comes privileges because they ALL of the content from programming to commercials, it’s all theirs to with however they please! Think of the promotional possibilities!

After an initial brainstorm our most immediate opportunity was for the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention and Visitors Bureau (GFL CVB). What if people could plan their vacation together in a group experience while sitting on their couch and watching TV? That was an exciting idea for us to explore but we would need content – video content, and lots of it, in high definition that people could use to help them plan their trip including hotels, restaurants, attractions and special events!

However, with a TV app there were obvious differences we had to consider since the mobile experience differs greatly from TV. People sit in front of TVs for longer periods of usage, but there is far less frequent engagement when compared to a smart phone.

We know that the live Beach cams are the most viewed page on the GFL CVB website sunny.org, broadcasting 24/7 live content from multiple locations. Boom, we have a TV channel.

The Lab did a quick AppleTV prototype to review with the GFL CVB. Sparks ignited and ideas were flowing. After all of that great great brainstorming, we planned the entire project using an Agile roadmap to determine everything we could possibly want and need in a TV channel.

We roadmapped an entire TV network with multiple channels featuring 24/7 programming. A “Live” channel for beach cams, local events and hot spots, plus on-demand choices to promote everything you can do in Greater Fort Lauderdale. We also created channels in other languages and markets including meeting and convention planners. Tools were developed to allow Greater Fort Lauderdale to interrupt programing with LIVE broadcasts from special events; making those features as easy as using the camera on your phone.

The “Hello Sunny TV Network” launched on December 3rd live from the Riptide Music Festival on Fort Lauderdale beach and included behind the scenes footage, interviews with bands and of course live performances!

The idea ultimately deployed on multiple platforms, including desktop and mobile devices via sunny.org/tv and on Apple TV (soon to be followed by ROKU). Stay tuned!