Advertainment At Every Click

Chris Albrecht at NewTeeVee calls the above episode of Roommates a bad commercial.

We’ve talked before about what role product placement should play in web video, and how web video is turning into a shill game. But this makes the massive product placement in Kate Modern look like PBS.
I’m no hippie. I get and appreciate commerce. Independent producers want to make web shows, but have no money. Brands have lots of money and want to connect with today’s hip, young audiences. Today’s hip audiences hate pre-roll ads, so advertisers must find other ways to get their message out. Which brings us back to the independent producer who will gladly take the brand’s money.

Speaking of shill games, Ad Age has a piece on Droga 5’s Honeyshed.

It’s not an e-commerce site, but it does aim to facilitate online shopping on behalf of multiple marketers by offering a curated hub of brand information and culture. “Everyone is scrambling to do branded content, but for the most part, there is no real home for it,” Droga says. “The strategy has mainly been to create entertaining content and then seed it, put it on YouTube or elsewhere. So content is king, but the king didn’t really have throne. Our idea was to have a site where you could be overt about the brand. The site gets at the entertainment value and the sociability of shopping.”

Great, but being “overt about the brand” is not content, it’s advertising. So content isn’t king in Honeyshed land, advertising is.

About David Burn

Co-founder and editor of AdPulp. I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. I worked for seven agencies in five states before launching my own practice in 2009. Today, I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.


  1. “… being “overt about the brand” is not content, it’s advertising. So content isn’t king in Honeyshed land, advertising is.”
    You’re right, David.
    But you know how it is. You can’t launch a new media venture these days without sending the bullshit/buzzword meter off the charts in your PR materials and on your press junkets.
    Agency heads used to be most adept at promoting their clients. Now most of them seem best suited for promoting themselves. They’re like Bizarro Chicken Littles, predicting nothing short of brilliance at every turn. Everyone’s a marketing pioneer. Their ideas aren’t just new, they’re revolutionary. Groundbreaking. Paradigm-shifting. World-changing.
    Even if what you are is basically QVC online. With hotter hosts, perhaps.