The Sponsored Obama and Jay-Z Web Event That Never Was

  |  February 16, 2012   |  Comments

Vevo offered corporate brands the opportunity to wrap their names around the White House event.

Advertisers were offered sponsorships of an interview with the President and hip-hop mogul Jay-Z on popular video site Vevo that never happened. But before it was canceled, a sales deck offering corporate brands the opportunity to wrap their names around the White House event made its way to big digital ad agencies, and helped convince some to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars with Vevo.

A Vevo sales deck obtained by ClickZ promoted sponsorships of the interview event with Jay-Z and Obama, which was to be held February 9. The presentation offered category exclusivity to four sponsors for the one-hour live stream, as well as sponsorships of an encore stream and on-demand content. (See screenshots of the sales deck below.)


Advertisers were offered "brand inclusion" such as ads on Vevo, social media outreach on Facebook and Twitter, as well as mentions in press outreach about the event to be sent to media outlets including CNN, AOL, and Rolling Stone.

The sales deck even promised sponsors the "exclusive opportunity" to attend the live event.

When asked in January by ClickZ, and then again last week, Vevo said the event was not happening. However, a source close to the situation said advertisers had already agreed to sponsor.

The existence of a presentation promoting sponsorship opportunities in direct association with the interview suggests it was, at the very least, scheduled at some point to occur. The ClickZ source said the sales deck had been floating around in brand marketing and ad agency circles for a couple weeks in January.

The President - in the midst of a reelection campaign - recently held a town hall style interview on YouTube, presented by YouTube and Google+. Like a similar town hall interview held in April 2011 on Facebook, the YouTube event served as a branding vehicle for the media outlet hosting it. Google promoted the event on YouTube and even via a rare text ad on

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 made available to corporate advertisers in association with the event are virtually unheard of.






Kate Kaye

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.

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