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Prison Break on (in) Your Cell

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As more evidence of the changing television market, FOX has announced that it will show Prison Break on the cell phone platform. This is part of their effort to capture the 18-35 year old demographic. This is all part of FOX’s bid for the internet and other markets. Advertisers have noticed that the television networks and cable companies have been moving towards this new media (which isn’t so new anymore, now is it) and want to join in.

Advertisers are spending more money on cell phone and internet advertising. Red Herring says,

In what is an appropriate metaphor for TV’s fleeing viewers, the Fox Broadcasting network said Monday it will air mobile versions of its hit series Prison Break on cell phones, with Toyota as its primary sponsor and actor in the multiscreen drama.

Toyota’s deal with News Corp. will include sponsorship of the mobile version of Prison Break, along with ads on the show’s web site and on the TV show, which ends its maiden season in May.

Aware of the low tolerance of young adult audiences for traditional 30-second ads, the advertising industry has tried to find the right balance between commercialism and content. In the case of Toyota’s ads, the commercials will run for the first 10 seconds of the two-minute “mobisodes” of Prison Break.

Most companies are taking an approach like that of Toyota, where they are still backing traditional TV but in a rebroadcast platform. But is it the best way? I think that just like the television industry the advertisers are going to have to adjust too. The bombarding of users with ads everywhere to do anything has to eventually reach a saturation point. And isn’t that why most people turn to TiVo or iTunes in the first place?

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