Entertain & Inform, Then Entertain Some More

Candace Bushnell is working with Maybelline on The Broadroom, a made for the Web knock off on her hit show Sex in the City.

Episodic content. Episodic content. Episodic content. How many times will Stuart Elliott of the The New York Times and I go over this?

Web series are being created specifically for advertisers, borrowing a strategy from the early days of radio and television when shows like “The Kraft Music Hall,” “The Bell Telephone Hour,” “Lux Radio Theater” and “Schlitz Playhouse of Stars” entertained Americans while selling cheese, phone service, soap and beer.
Webisodes — part of a trend called branded entertainment — are growing because marketers feel compelled to find new methods to reach consumers in an era when the traditional media are losing eyeballs, ears, hearts, minds and perhaps other body parts to the Internet.

Elliott also points to ConAgra Foods, which is sponsoring a daily show, “What’s So Funny?,” on yahoo.com and Clorox, which is creating “Garden Party,” for ivillage.com to help support its Hidden Valley Ranch line of salad dressings.
I have some experience creating a travel series for Camel Wides and a series of mini-docs featuring ‘independent spirits” for Camel.com. While I may not cherish any one video (we all need to get better at this), the whole body of work is something I’m proud of and want to build on.
What about you? Are you dreaming up any brand-sponsored shows?
[BONUS LINK: An archive of Lux Radio Theater programs]



About David Burn

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. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.