Fans who share their passion for NBC shows online could earn the network's appreciation — and prizes — in return.
"Fan It," an initiative aimed at turning social-media users into an ad hoc promotional team for the network, will launch Monday, NBC said Thursday.
"A recommendation from a friend is infinitely more powerful than any message we can put out through conventional marketing channels," said Adam Stotsky, president of NBC Entertainment Marketing.
After signing up on NBC's website and logging in to their Facebook, Twitter, MySpace or MyNBC accounts, participants earn points through activities such as chatting about series and steering friends to NBC-related links.
The points can be redeemed for rewards including sneak previews of shows, NBC merchandise and entry into a sweepstakes to win big-ticket items such as attendance at the finale of "The Biggest Loser" or a prop from "The Office," the network said.
A social-media promotion this season for "Chuck" gave a fan, David Paul of Turlock, Calif., the chance to have his photo included in one of the title character's flash-of-brilliance sequences in the May 25 finale.
The "Fan It" initiative extends through the 2010-11 season and will involve new and returning shows. NBC will present its fall schedule to advertisers Monday in New York.
Research shows that friends represent one of the top sources of information about new programming, said Vivi Zigler, president of NBC Universal Digital Entertainment.
Social networks are a means of capitalizing on that.
"Digital media is a growing area and is our No. 1 medium outside of our own air," said Stotsky.
There's no sneaky corporate co-opting intended with Fan It, he and Zigler said.
"It's no secret NBC is building an experience in which fans can express themselves," Stotsky said, adding, "if you create a respectful relationship with the audience and reward them in a respectful way, viewers appreciate it."
The intent isn't pretending "it's something else," Zigler said. "We're NBC, here's some neat shows. We hope you like them and, if you do, tell your friends."
NBC is owned by General Electric Co.
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