Celebrities talk to *you*: StarGreetz brings hyper-personalized messages to consumers

[A press release from StarGreetz via PR Newswire; related stories, a story about how Syracuse University is using the service to retain admitted students is available here, and an interview with the founder and CEO is available here]

StarGreetz Makes Facebook Talk … Personally


First-Ever Personalized Video Facebook and Web App Launches With The CW’s Vampire Diaries and 90210 and American Idol; Premium Retail Products Include Messages From The NFL, Jersey Shore’s DJ Pauly D, American Idol and Disney/Pixar Characters

LOS ANGELES, June 6, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — StarGreetz (www.stargreetz.com), a pioneering new content provider of customized, user-personalized, star-powered video messages for online and mobile platforms, launched today with a transformative technology that enables marketers to talk directly to their customers, and empowers stars to address their fans personally by name.

StarGreetz’ proprietary technology allows the voices and video images of celebrities and brand personalities to be transformed into personalized, rich-media messages sent directly to consumers via Facebook, Twitter, web pages, banner ads, email, mobile and digital devices, even personalized audio on land lines. All of StarGreetz’ content incorporates the user name and most of its products are user-customized with a selection of variables such as location, hobbies, gender, and relationship, among others creating hyper-personalized messages.

StarGreetz’ Facebook application, the first of its kind, brings personalized videos directly to fans. When a user activates a StarGreetz video, it addresses the user by name with a personalized message. For users who “like” a particular brand or celebrity, StarGreetz publishes videos to that user’s Newsfeed, which address them by name, after a one-time app allow. Those messages in turn can be shared virally, allowing their friends to open their own personalized messages.

StarGreetz Founder and CEO Eric Frankel, former president of Warner Bros Domestic Television Distribution, understands the power of combining personalization and celebrity as a way for marketers to cut through the digital clutter.  “Our technology is groundbreaking.  It’s the first time in marketing history where brands – and stars – can reach consumers and fans directly, without any intermediary, speaking to them by name. It’s the personalization factor that sets us apart.  As a result, consumers feel a personal bond that they have never felt before, compelling them to action,” said Frankel. “Through hyper-personalization, StarGreetz is a disruptive marketing technology that creates deeper relationships with consumers, increasing brand or fan loyalty by delivering highly-relevant, impactful messages to already engaged users and to new users virally.”

The CW has already used StarGreetz’ technology to promote hits The Vampire Diaries and 90210 by sending out personalized tune-in messages via Facebook.  The Vampire Diaries stars’ Ian Somerhalder and Paul Wesley spoke to their fans — by name — to remind them to watch. The messages garnered over one million unique plays, hundreds of thousands of likes and shares, and tens of thousands of positive comments.  As for 90210, AnnaLynne McCord and Michael Steger personally prompted viewers to tune in and the network reported a 21% uptick in viewership as a result. “Today, it’s all about leveraging personalization and the power of social networks,” said Rick Haskins, EVP, Marketing, The CW. “The beauty of StarGreetz is its ability to deliver highly personalized messages to potentially millions of fans to engage, empower, entertain and activate them. In turn, they advance those branded messages virally through their own networks.”

In addition, StarGreetz worked with Fremantle on a line of American Idol tune-in messages as well as personalized eCards and eInvitations, on sale at www.americanidol.com/stargreetz.   

StarGreetz also offers premium retail products, which include personalized video eCards, eInvitations, ringtones and voicemail by celebrities.  Pauly D promoted his greetings by appearing on the newsfeed of his four million-plus Facebook friends talking to them by name, urging them to tune in to the evening’s episode of Jersey Shore and reminding them to buy his personalized eCards, ringtones, etc.  Fans posted positive comments by the tens of thousands.  Sales spiked as a result.

Adds Frankel, “StarGreetz offers marketers and celebrities a direct path to their consumers and fans – whether it’s online, on a device or in a store.  These contextually relevant messages which reach consumers and fans wherever they are and whenever they are most receptive to them, are so personal, they feel connected to the brand in a whole new way.” 

It is well known that consumers are more likely to engage with an ad if it is relevant to them. According to ChoiceStream, as many as 39% of consumers are more likely to click on an ad if it is personalized, and as many as 73% say they are interested in personalized online advertising.  This preference for personalized outreach is further evidenced by significantly higher open rates for personalized content vs. non-personalized content. A recent survey published in emarketer found that web site personalization increased customer conversion by almost 70%.

StarGreetz offers a range of personalized marketing tools including the world’s first personalized iPhone and Android apps; CRM messages to support customer relations including reminders and daily tips; customized viral videos which can be sent to friends via email, Facebook and Twitter; Media Activation where users, prompted by outdoor, print TV or in-store advertising, can text or scan a QR bar code to receive personalized video messages and immediate rewards/coupons; Talking/Video Facebook, Website and banner ad apps.

According to StarGreetz investor and board member Skip Brittenham, founding partner of Ziffren, Brittenham, LLC, “StarGreetz’ brand of personalization redefines the term ‘targeting’ – what could be more effective than looking someone in the eye and saying their name out loud and giving them a personalized message?  I believe that Eric Frankel and his team have developed a winning formula for marketers and celebrities.”

Says Steve Willensky, former senior vice president, executive sales and marketing officer of American Greetings, “As the traditional greeting card business continues to erode, new growth will be driven through digital innovation like this, which combines sentiment, entertainment value and customization. StarGreetz’ personalization technology is a phenomenal concept in the right place at the right time led by seasoned pros whose experience and track record will surely make the company a huge success.”

StarGreetz’ first-round investors include:

Skip Brittenham, Founder, Ziffren Brittenham LLC
Dick Cook, Former Chairman, Walt Disney Studios
Richard Janssen, Founder, Realtor.com
Joe Roth, Former Chairman, 20th Century Fox, Walt Disney Studios; Founder Revolution Studios
Jeff Sagansky, Former President, CBS Television Network, TriStar Pictures
Ken Ziffren, Founder, Ziffren Brittenham LLC 

StarGreetz advisory board includes:

Edward Adler, Former EVP Corporate Communications, Time Warner, Inc.
Sandy Grushow, Former Chairman, FOX TV Entertainment Group
Larry Kirshbaum, Vice President and Publisher, Amazon Publishing; Former CEO and Chairman, Time-Warner Book Group; Founder and President, LJK Literary Management
Mark Pedowitz, President, The CW Network; Former President, ABC Studios/Business Affairs
Dan Romanelli, Former President and Founder, Warner Bros. Consumer Products
John Sykes, Co-founder MTV; Former President, VH1 & CBS/InfinityRadio; Chrysalis Records; CAA
Nancy Tellem, Former President, CBS Network; Sr. Advisor to CEO, CBS Corp.
Steve Willensky, Former Head Sales and Marketing, American Greetings
Michael Wolfson, Former Chief Creative, AOL; Founder & CEO, Rocket Fuel

About StarGreetz

StarGreetz is a pioneering content provider of customized, user-personalized, star-powered rich media messages to both online and mobile platforms worldwide. The company’s game-changing audio and video technology delivers personalized messaging using the voices and images of popular celebrities and iconic characters. StarGreetz offers next-generation products and services that appeal to both advertisers and consumers including celebrity greetings, eCards, eInvitations, ringtones, voicemail, best-in-class CRM, viral video messaging, media activation, and the world’s first-ever personalized talking/video Facebook, QR codes, website and banner ad apps and more.

SOURCE StarGreetz



One response to “Celebrities talk to *you*: StarGreetz brings hyper-personalized messages to consumers”

  1. Ima Nonymous

    Neat. I wonder if Syracuse University is also telling its students about the Federal lawsuit against Stargreetz, Eric Frankel, Linda Abrams, and Lucy Hood, which alleges a bunch of nasty stuff according to this FishbowlLA article and this LA Times Article Does that help with retention?

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