TechTV was a 24-hour cable and satellite network owned by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen featuring news and shows about computers, technology and the Internet. Broadcast in 70 countries TechTV reached a height of 43 million households. To increase network viewership they ran a summer sweepstakes for a $25,000 shopping spree prize. By running off network broadcasting to 12 million North American households they captured 200,000 users who registered to watch 3 hours of programming for a week.
TechTV wanted to repeat that success in a winter sweepstakes but could only secure broadcasting for 7 million North American households. They turned to Commotion Interactive to help solve this business problem and make up the difference with an innovative solution.
Beginning in 2002 we had been developing a new “freemium” business model to monetize a sequel of our free game “Elf Bowling” where a user would play for free but be offered additional boosts, characters and levels through in-app purchase. (Today this is known as Free-to-Play) We went back to TechTV and pitched them an in-game sponsorship based on the sheer numbers of people who had played Elf Bowling in the past and who would likely play a sequel. TechTV would get leads / contest registrants and we could try our hand at monetizing the game. It was a win-win scenario and TechTV agreed.
We launched the game worldwide across more than two hundred online channels and utilized a “tell-a-friend” social media method which would help the word spread from friend to friend. The results for TechTV were in their words ‘amazing’. The Elf Bowling campaign more than DOUBLED the number of prior contest registrants and broke all previous records at the network totaling more than 450,000 registrants in 30 days with a 45% response rate to the call to action.