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Hey, How'd You Build Passionate Bravo Fans Through Mobile Platforms, Aimee Viles?

Bravo's VP of emerging media breaks down innovation in the mobile space, from building loyalty and engagement to generating profits

By E.B. Boyd - March 30, 2010
Time recently observed that a bunch of marquee television events managed to avoid the prevailing ratings slump affecting many shows. This year's Super Bowl, it noted, was the highest-watched television program ever. The Winter Olympics had more viewers this year than in 2006. And the Emmys, Grammys, and Oscars all enjoyed ratings boosts. Part of the explanation, wrote James Poniewozik, is social media. "Along with the decline of evening-news, drama and sitcom ratings, the fall of water cooler TV has been playing out for years," he said. "When that happens, you can try to make better TV. Or you can find a better water cooler."

One of the companies taking the lead in building a better water cooler is Bravo, whose vice president of emerging media, Aimee Viles, will be speaking at Mediabistro's upcoming Think Mobile conference. The network started mobile fan clubs years ago, and in 2007, it launched a Top Chef game for mobile. Earlier this year, it partnered with Foursquare to enable fans to collect badges when they visit locations recommended by cast members from their reality shows. And last year, the network started hosting live "viewing parties" which enabled fans to interact -- via Twitter, Facebook, and mobile chat -- with cast members during the finales of the Real Housewives of New York and Top Chef. The events were so successful that they are now taking place weekly during the current season of RHNY.

Viles came to Bravo in 2008 from Portland, Ore.-based Ensequence, where, as director of creative services, she helped build interactive TV authoring solutions for the likes of NBC, MTV, and ESPN. Before that she was at UK-based Vodafone, where she worked on the mobile provider's Internet applications and strategies.

mediabistro.com caught up with Viles to ask her how Bravo is using social media to stoke viewers' passions for the network's shows and, ultimately, contribute to the bottom line....

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