A Funny Sort of Media Buy

They say laughter is the best medicine. Does this hold true if your ailment is a client in need of a good media placement?

The team behind a new comedy site would surely tell you it does. Daily Comedy was launched earlier this month and is already garnering advertisers’ attention, despite the fact most might not normally consider a comedy site for clients’ campaigns.

With so many options, this genre often goes unnoticed. Perhaps due to the multitude of lower-tier humor sites displaying endless bad jokes, many buyers tend to steer clear. For me, the first thing that comes to mind with interactive comedy is usually those poorly produced late-night TV ads, the ones encouraging me to text a short code to receive a daily joke on my cell phone.

Sites like Daily Comedy are changing such preconceived ideas with comedy of a higher quality and an intriguing content model: Web-exclusive humor.

“In 2006, many Web sites brought comedy to the Internet, often migrating clips of standup comedians performing their material — either filmed in comedy clubs or outtakes from television specials,” says Charles Warner, Daily Comedy’s CEO. “But the Web needs comedy that is created especially for Internet users and that is up to the minute and topical.”

That’s the idea with the site. Part blog, part community portal, Daily Comedy has a staff of 15 top professional comics submitting work on a daily basis. This includes text posts, images, and videos, all of which are exclusive to the site. Amateurs can participate in the fun as well by creating a personal “Comedy Stage.” They can post their original content to the page or link to humorous bits on other sites.

Even as it strives to grow its library of content, the site already attracts an estimated 30,000 unique visitors, with traffic growing at about 10,000 new visitors each week. That’s thanks in part to a comprehensive marketing campaign; ads for Daily Comedy are currently running on XM’s and Sirius’ comedy channels, as are banners across hundreds of network sites and on Google.

Daily Comedy’s content isn’t the only thing that’s exclusive. Incorporate the site into your media plan and you’ll be treated like a member of a private club. According to Warner, the site will accept a limited number of advertisers (eight to start) who’ll enjoy category exclusivity. One beer advertiser, one auto advertiser, and so on.

This stable of ad partners will have access to 300 x 250 banners, along with an four-week promotion on the site each year for a contest Daily Comedy will help promote with additional placements. Sponsorships of the site’s video player, e-mailed joke of the day, and weekly newsletter are also available; ads are sold on a CPM (define) basis.

On top of the online placements, Daily Comedy’s ad partners receive at least two sponsored Comedy Night events in a well-known (offline) club. In a clever display of cross-media content promotion, the Comedy Nights will feature Daily Comedy’s staff of comedians, the same ones who post their wit to the site.

Ad content is being managed by Accipiter’s AdManager solution, which is scalable to handle the site’s varied promotional placements and anticipated increase in ads. Plans are in the works to use the solution to serve ads to Daily Comedy podcasts and streaming video clips as well.

If your target demographic is consumers aged 18-34, skewing male, this is one genre at which you might want to take a closer look. Associating oneself with comedic content can be appropriate for any number of brands and products. Pay attention the next time you’re watching “The Daily Show.”

Daily Comedy’s content model also stands to deliver real benefits. We already know blogs can attract affluent, broadband-enabled consumers who tend to spend online (PDF download). I expect this site will be the next to grasp their attention.

Funny as they are, comedy sites needn’t be a laughing matter when it comes to media buying.

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