Posted by Sheila Shayon on October 25, 2011 05:03 PM
NBC's web-only series In Gayle We Trust has broken the barrier on digital series’ success and proven that an insurance agent, played by Elisa Donovan (Clueless, Beverly Hills 90210, Sabrina The Teenage Witch), can become a star.
A branded entertainment partnership between NBC Universal and media agency Mindshare, the series — backed by AmFam, or American Family Insurance — launched in 2009 and was renewed last year.
By season two, Gayle had doubled viewership from 18 million to 34.9 million. Season three, which launches this week, centers on a newcomer who is creating a musical, aptly titled Policies! Policies!
“In Gayle We Trust delivers quality entertainment in a manner that both keeps viewers coming back for more and aligns with the values of the sponsor. American Family Insurance beckons the insurance-buying public to allow us to protect their dreams,” said Telisa Yancy, advertising director.
Emmy Award-nominated actor Fred Willard and Richard Karn (Home Improvement) make cameos in season three, with Anthony Q. Farrell (The Office) as writer and Jason Farrand (Head Case) director.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on July 20, 2011 12:00 PM
Meet Gayle Evans, an American Family Insurance agent in Maple Grove, Anytown, U.S.A. She's also the star of a digital series produced by NBCU Digital titled, In Gayle We Trust.
The character has been featured in two seasons of webisodes on NBC.com (final episodes will continue through this fall), and was introduced last year as part of NBC's ramped up branded entertainment push — an initiative that NBCU's new owners at Comcast recently killed off in lieu of producing webisodes tied to NBC's current on-air programming, not brands' characters and storylines.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on July 19, 2011 09:00 AM
News Corp. titans, Rupert and James Murdoch, face three-hour Parliamentary questioning today in spreading phone-hacking scandal.
Walmart reportedly eyes Rite Aid.
AMD stalls in CEO search, which might overshadow earnings improvements.
American Airlines leans toward Airbus over Boeing in fleet decision, Journal says, while Bloomberg hears that the airline may split the order.
American Family Insurance promotes “the American dream.”
Baidu reaches deal with major record labels.Continue reading...
Posted by Barry Silverstein on May 17, 2010 02:59 PM
Sponsored programming is as old as television, while product placement is commonplace today. But now, at least one studio is making a concerted effort to produce such branded entertainment exclusively for digital use.
NBC Universal Digital Studio, a two-year old production unit, is the only such operation funded by a major traditional film and television company. According to Adweek, while the studio has so far produced only two series each year, it plans to increase its production of digital shows—short-form programming and Web series, such as In Gayle We Trust—in the coming year.
How it works: Brands such as Nestea tap NBCU Digital Studio to produce original, scripted programming and agree to an advertising package that may include product placement and other forms of brand promotion.
The result, in this example: a ten-episode Web series, CTRL, which was available on TV via cable, satellite and telcos' video-on-demand platforms, online at NBC.com, USANetwork.com and Hulu.com, and on mobile platforms and gaming consoles.
Additionally, a dedicated website hosts CTRL's episodes plus branded games, photo galleries, character bios and a blog maintained by the lead character. As an additional revenue stream, NBCU may distribute the content to iTunes.Continue reading...
Posted by Stephanie Startz on November 25, 2009 07:01 PM
The media landscape has abruptly changed. Magazines have shuttered, newspaper circulation has dwindled and viewers have tuned out broadcast television. Where are brands to turn now that the established advertising channels have dried up?
To the Internet, of course, where they’re creating their own content to advertise around: web series.
Web series – online shorts created for advertisers, also known as webisodes and branded entertainment – are having a great year. Brands like Ikea, American Family Insurance, Sara Lee, Hidden Valley Ranch and Maybelline have flocked to the trend, reaping positive results.
The notion is not completely new, harkening back to the early days of entertainment and radio and television shows sponsored by a sole brand. Today, what has changed is the extent to which brands are involved in the creative process.Continue reading...
Posted by Stephanie Startz on September 29, 2009 03:03 PM
Heidi Montag and Spencer Pratt, lead villains on MTV's Los Angeles-based reality show The Hills, should start to worry. A vivacious and cunning new co-star is coming to town -- and we're not talking about their latest cast-mate, Kristin Cavallari.
As part of Verizon Wireless's branded entertainment vehicle Valemont, a Verizon mobile phone will be fighting for screen time against the duo America loves to hate. Who will better connect with the audience? Our bets are on the cellular device.
Premiering tonight on MTV, Valemont will air in two-and-a-half minute clips prior to The Hills, and again at the conclusion of The City, for the next six weeks. Set at a prestigious northeastern university, Valemont features a young woman named Sophie searching for clues after her brother is found dead. Using his Verizon phone -- naturally, showing off its video and messaging capabilities along the way -- Sophie attempts to solve the mystery of what happened to her brother.Continue reading...
Posted by Stephanie Startz on September 17, 2009 07:13 AM
British oil trader Trafigura dumped contaminated waste in the Ivory Coast, with 12 known deaths to date, then spent three years denying claims and threatening critics with defamation suits. [Guardian
Environmental advocates pressure household product producers into disclosing chemicals in products. [NY Times]
Obama struggles to reframe the US national discourse: This is not about race. [WaPo]
Spanish retail chain Zara finally moves to sell clothes online. [Times of London]
No more corporate jet use at Citi. Unless you have a really good reason and a note from Vikram Pandit. [Times of London]
Rolls Royce introduces an economy vehicle for consumers new to the brand, retailing at $338,000. [Bloomberg]
Michelin engages social media to tout their 2010 guide, playing up the mystery of their "famously anonymous inspector" on website, ads, and Twitter. [NY Times]
(More headlines: Timberland targets Gen Y; USA Networks, Verizon and ESPN ramp up their game; US college football stars tripped up by social media.)Continue reading...