CW debuts mobile social virtual stores for Gossip Girl, Vampire Diaries
The CW Television Network is partnering with the Meez mobile social entertainment destination for the launch of two in-application custom branded boutiques targeting teens and young adults.
In partnership with Virtual Greats and the CW, Meez has launched the stores for the network’s television shows “Gossip Girl” and “The Vampire Diaries” selling virtual goods ranging from branded clothing assets, iconic jewelry pieces and branded backgrounds. Meez users can access the virtual boutiques via the MeezNation applications for Google’s Android and Apple’s iPhone and iPad.
“Meez is extending its highly engaging social entertainment site across mobile and tablets – and eventually to GoogleTV and XBox – to deliver an immersive, interconnected social experience on the go,” said John Cahill, CEO of Meez, San Francisco.
“Advertisers are able to reach a targeted demographic that’s eager to engage with brands through branded rooms, virtual items such as clothing, shoes and accessories, boutiques and backgrounds,” he said. “The target demographic is a mainstream, PG-13 audience.
“An example of branded campaigns on MeezNation would be Gossip Girl and Vampire Diaries, which launched last week.”
The CW is a joint venture between CBS Corp., the former owners of United Paramount Network (UPN), and Time Warner’s Warner Bros., former majority owner of The WB Television Network.
With more than 15 million users worldwide, Meez combines mobile and social media, games and virtual worlds into a place where brands and advertisers are able to reach an already engaged teen audience.
Branded virtual goods
MeezNation users’ profile page has avatar creation tools, a messaging inbox, activity feeds, friends’ status updates, a storefront for purchasing in-application animations and branded content, virtual currency and virtual items.
MeezNation monetizes with virtual items and VIP subscription sales, in-world advertising and brand sponsorship and mobile content monetization.
The CW’s mobile virtual boutiques launched on the dates of each show’s premiere, Gossip Girl on Jan. 24 and Vampire Diaries on Jan. 27.
The Meez boutiques let users style their avatars using branded clothing items from two of the CW’s teen-targeted shows, Gossip Girl and Vampire Diaries.
Users can also customize their avatars using jewelry pieces from the shows and branded backgrounds.
Application users can buy branded backgrounds, clothing and accessories such as the Vampire Diaries locket or Gossip Girl t-shirt.
Branded virtual items range from around $0.50 to $5.
The attention spans of teens are constantly divided among thousands of different media properties across multiple platforms, making user loyalty a challenge, per Meez.
By involving its TV show brands within Meez’s applications, the CW is trying to boost audience engagement and the time teenage consumers spend on the site.
Integrating branded virtual items also creates an additional revenue engine for the CW.
MeezNation’s virtual economy, based on the Meez virtual currency Coinz, lets users buy virtual goods and branded items, send gifts and gain entrance to exclusive virtual neighborhoods.
As the virtual goods market continues on its fast growth trendline, media properties are focusing on the most targeted, engaged and lucrative virtual commerce opportunities, per Meez.
Meez Boutiques are an example of this trend, offering teens branded avatar clothing, accessories and Roomz decorations while giving brands and media properties such as the CW access to a very specific targeted demographic.
Meez also recently launched designer Cynthia Rowley’s boutique and continues to bring fashion and entertainment brands to its audience.
Other brands integrated into Meez’s virtual world include Bongo, Selena Gomez, Rebecca Bon Bon, Miley Cyrus & Max Azria, Rocawear and Coca-Cola.
MeezNation also features an open mobile games platform for games developers that supports Flash, Unity and Java, giving users access to first and third-party social games.
The application provides in-game support for avatars, allowing users to play games with their own avatar as the in-game hero and to challenge their online friends to compete head-to-head and earn currency and awards.
Users can earn Meez cash and Coinz by playing games, or buy them via credit card, a prepaid America Express card, mobile payments, offers and more through Meez.com.
In-application payments will be available at a later date.
“Meez will be marketing the app directly to its user base of 15 million via Meez.com, its community newsletter and forums, and through its popular app on MySpace,” Mr. Cahill said.
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