Video producer Funny or Die worked with Pantene to create a video, "The Weird Science and Big Business of Working Girls in The Breakfast Club," a humorous tribute to the big hair phenomenon of the 1980s. The Pantene-Funny or Die video spoof was tied to the hair care brands's "Back by Popular Demand" campaign where it reportedly brought back previously discontinued products.
BMW attached its brand to a video series from The Daily, a digital publication designed for the iPad, Android, and Facebook. "The Ultimate Test Drive" features the show's hosts - Danny Dumas and Steven Leckart as they demonstrate an odd assortment of vehicles – from a Zamboni to a HydroBob.
And The Onion's A.V. Undercover video music series, which features 25 bands covering 25 songs, scored Starbucks as a sponsor.
Executives from The Onion, The Daily, and Funny or Die took the stage at the Interactive Advertising Bureau's 2012 NewFront program yesterday to show advertisers opportunities in video content - from sponsorships to branded entertainment.
The Onion's Will Graham, executive producer, and Matt McDonagh, national sales director, discussed video series in the works: Pop Smear, a parody of TMZ; The Night Spot, a late-night TV parody, and The Gab, the Onion's answer to The View.
And Funny or Die wants to introduce a live event and video series, LOLapaLOLza, that marries comedy and music. "The idea is to find a comedian who loves a certain band, and a band that has a mutual appreciation for that comedian," said Chris Bruss, VP, branded entertainment at Funny or Die.
The NewFront program also underscored, in some cases, how the lines continue to blur between real-life news and commentary and satire.
For instance, The Onion is best known for its satire. But its A.V. Undercover video music series is a reality program.
Or consider The Daily, which publishes articles, photographs, polls, puzzles, and video, according to Publisher Greg Clayman. Its offerings include video how to's ("3 easy ways to make bread," and demos ("The Ultimate Test drive"). And then there's "Puppet News," a weekly video featuring puppets who (sort of) interview real-life people. In one clip, puppet Lester Lester Jr. complains that a hot dog costs $1.75 at a food truck near Occupy Wall Street. "This is ridiculous. Attica! Attica! Attica!" he chants, referencing a line from protests against authority in the 1970s following the Attica prison riot.
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Anna Maria Virzi, ClickZ's executive editor from 2007 until 2012, covered Internet business and technology since 1996. She was on the launch team for Ziff Davis Media's Baseline and also worked at Forbes.com, Web Week, Internet World, and the Connecticut Post.
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