So on Monday we'll finally have Bud.tv, a project that has already gone down as a milestone for branded entertainment. It remains to be seen whether it will mark the true return of ambitious marketer-run content channels, a la P&G's early soap operas, or the moment advertising-as-entertainment jumps the shark.
The content Anheuser-Bush has slated for the channel is alternately low- and high-brow. Short form videos will be contributed by a high-falutin' passel of Hollywood auteurs, including Kevin Spacey's production house (Trigger Street) and Damon/Affleck studio LivePlanet. The site will produce some truly interactive content, including a "Finish Our Film" contest, plus predictable slapstick clips and high-concept shows. A story in The Times Magazine has many more details in a profile of the effort, which it calls "sotto voice" marketing.
A-B, which reportedly expects to spend $30 million on Bud.TV in its first year alone, is clearly shooting for a broad spectrum of programming – much of it high-caliber. The question is, will people see it on BUD.TV or on YouTube, and does Bud even care?
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Until March 2012, Zach Rodgers was managing editor of ClickZ's award-winning coverage of news and trends in digital marketing. He reported on the rise of web companies, data markets, ad technologies, and government Internet policy, among other subjects.
December 12, 2013
1:00pm ET / 10:00am PT