Starz Launches Personalized 'Boss' Video Experience via Facebook Connect

To promote the show's second season, the premium TV service will drive people to its "Price for Power" experience to give them a taste of the series.

Premium TV service Starz Entertainment is launching a personalized video experience via Facebook Connect to promote the second season of Boss.

The online offer, called “Price for Power,” is designed to give people a look inside the world of protagonist Mayor Tom Kane (Kelsey Grammer) without the need for any knowledge of politics or the show, which returns on Friday, Aug. 17.

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Once users allow “Price For Power” to tap into data from their Facebook profile, it provides a video customized with photos and other information from the user's  profile on the social network. No matter how often a user watches, a somewhat different video is offered due to a range of customization and randomization options.

The experience wants to "invite users into a Machiavellian world where you are the political elite, have the clout to change lives (for the better or worse) and rule over a political machine that rewards those with power and control," Starz said.
"Your personal Facebook information is transposed securely and populated into a virtual universe akin to that of Mayor Kane," the protagonist of the show, portrayed by Grammer.

Users can, among other things, see their own campaign advertisements on display, friends disappear from their virtual Facebook page and family question the person they have become.

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“The allure and corruptibility of political power was the perfect backdrop to "Price For Power" and a virtual experience like no other,” said Kelly Bumann, senior vp, digital marketing for Starz Entertainment. “The Facebook Connect technology platform provides a seamless vehicle for you to see what life could be like if you were the one in control and the ramifications that could ripple throughyour social network as a result."

While other media companies have used similar tools before, "the amount of personalization we are offering is pretty unrivaled," Bumann said.

Why is this the right way to help promote Boss? Said Bumann: "Boss is much less a show about politics and much more about the incredible allure of power and the methods those with it will sometimes use to preserve it. "Price For Power" gives you a taste of this virtual social media reality.”

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She said the cost of the experience is only about that of the ad buy of one web site. "We wanted people who don't know the show yet get interested in that world - and wanted to do it in a way that is super simple. This experience auto builds, entertains and personalizes, so we hope it encourages people to comment on it and share it."

There is no revenue generating goal tied to the offer, said Starz executive director, digital marketing Erin Dwyer. "It's purely a creative marketing tool to get you into the show and another reason to add to the value of the show. And it's fun to see your name on a for-governor sign."

Because it is new territory for Starz, the company will support the experience via Facebook, and other ways. "We want to get people there and support the campaign," Dwyer explained.

Boss was created by Farhad Safinia (Apocalypto) who is also an executive producer on the series, along with Grammer, Gus Van Sant  (Milk, Good Will Hunting), Dee Johnson (The Good Wife, ER), Brian Sher and Stella Bulochnikov.

The series is produced by Lionsgate Television in association with Grammnet NH Productions, Roya Productions and Small Wishes.

Twitter: @georgszalai