Entertainment Marketers of the Year

Doug Dobie, 'Lil' Bush'

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First, TV content was brought to the mobile phone. Now original content developed for the mobile screen is taking a reverse leap. Thanks to Doug Dobie, 46, chief marketing officer for Amp'd Mobile, the animated parody "Lil' Bush: Resident of the United States" will air on MTV Networks' Comedy Central as a full, half-hour series starting in June.
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In a flip-flop, content created for the third screen will be brought to cable TV.

Not only that, but Amp'd Mobile is hyping its original content as a means to break through the $5 billion telecom marketing clutter.

"We can't out-yell and out-scream" competitors such as AT&T and Verizon Wireless, Mr. Dobie says.

The company has high aspirations. As its co-founder Seth Cummings says, it wants to be an "HBO for wireless."

Luvin' "Lil' Bush"
With a budget of less than $200,000, Mr. Cummings and comedy writer Donick Cary developed the cartoon featuring Lil' George, Lil' Condi, Lil' Rummy and Lil' Cheney. The show was an immediate success; so far about 60% of Amp'd's 200,000 subscribers have watched at least one episode of "Lil' Bush."

While original content makes up only 5% of Amp'd content, it comprises 30% of downloads. There are about 14 original programs on Amp'd, including "Lil' Hollywood."

Mr. Cummings and Mr. Dobie seeded "Lil' Bush" with a website and viral pushes, such as placing the show on video websites Break.com and YouTube. Mr. Dobie employed public relations to spread the word, especially once the ground-breaking Comedy Central distribution deal was in place.

Full digital spectrum
Online marketing included a microsite featuring two episodes, a teaser promo, behind-the-scenes video and interviews with Mr. Cary. Amp'd distributed "Lil' Bush" ringtones and wallpaper.

"'Lil' Bush' making its way from mobile to TV is really a watershed moment for the medium," says Greg Clayman, VP-wireless strategy and operations, MTV Networks.

Mr. Clayman says Amp'd and Mr. Dobie "have blurred the lines between content and marketing. They go out on a limb for unique, original content, which they then make the keystones of their consumer messaging."

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