Vevo is selling the opportunity for corporate brands to wrap their names around an interview with the President and hip-hop mogul Jay-Z on the popular video site. Vevo said the event isn’t happening, but sources say advertisers have already bought sponsorships. The offering gives a whole new meaning to money in politics.
Digital brands like Facebook and Google have garnered credibility in the political world by hosting interviews with President Barack Obama. But the types of sales offerings Vevo has made available to corporate advertisers in association with the event are virtually unheard of.
A Vevo sales deck obtained by ClickZ promotes sponsorships of an interview event with Jay-Z and Obama set to be held in February. The marketing presentation offers category exclusivity to four sponsors for the one-hour live stream, as well as an encore stream and on-demand content.
Sponsors are also offered "brand inclusion" such as ads on Vevo, social media outreach on Facebook and Twitter, and mention in a press release and other press outreach about the event sent to media outlets including CNN, AOL, and Rolling Stone.
The sales deck even offers sponsors the "exclusive opportunity" to attend the live event.
According to the deck, the hour-long live "town hall" will take place before an audience on February 9, 2012 exclusively on Vevo, from the East Wing of the White House, and will include a 30-minute interview with Jay-Z and Obama.
A source who wished to remain anonymous told ClickZ this morning that consumer brands have already purchased sponsorships of the event. However, a Vevo spokesperson said the event is not happening and advertisers have not purchased related sponsorships.
The White House did not respond to an inquiry regarding the event.
Whether the interview is taking place may be unclear, but the existence of a presentation promoting sponsorship opportunities in direct association with the town hall interview suggests it was, at the very least, scheduled at some point to occur. The ClickZ source said the sales deck has been floating around in brand marketing and ad agency circles for the past couple weeks.
A pairing of the President with a beloved hip hop artist on a music video site such as Vevo could help Obama reach out to young people and African American voters, voting blocs that are important for his reelection campaign.
Only yesterday, the President - in the midst of a reelection campaign - held a town hall style interview on YouTube, presented by YouTube and Google+. The YouTube event - like a similar town hall interview held in April on Facebook - served as a branding vehicle for the media outlets hosting them. Google promoted the event on YouTube and even via a rare text promo on Google.com.
Google and Facebook thrive on advertising dollars, but the companies did not sell sponsorships around their events featuring Obama. It is almost unheard of for an interview with a sitting U.S. President to be sponsored by corporate brands.
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Kate Kaye was Managing Editor at ClickZ News until October 2012. As a daily reporter and editor for the original news source, she covered beats including digital political campaigns and government regulation of the online ad industry. Kate is the author of Campaign '08: A Turning Point for Digital Media, the only book focused on the paid digital media efforts of the 2008 presidential campaigns. Kate created ClickZ's Politics & Advocacy section, and is the primary contributor to the one-of-a-kind section. She began reporting on the interactive ad industry in 1999 and has spoken at several events and in interviews for television, radio, print, and digital media outlets. You can follow Kate on Twitter at @LowbrowKate.
March 19, 2014