Bud.TV Ups the Ante on Branded Content

Online branded entertainment is nothing new, but few of the broadband plays to date have matched the sheer scope of Bud.TV, a new digital channel from Anheuser-Bush.

America’s largest brewer plans to offer a range of exclusive programming, both live and on demand, targeted to the male, 21- to 27-year-old demographic. The site will go live on February 5, 2007, the day after the Super Bowl, to take advantage of the advertiser’s heavy investment of ad dollars in the game.

“As many as seven channels” on Bud.TV will include standup and situation comedy, short independent films, webisodes of individual series, sports reports, celebrity interviews and Budweiser-branded material.

Jim Schumacker, a 23-year A-B veteran leads the digital marketing team, and DDB Worldwide will manage and produce the channel. Rodgers/Townsend (St. Louis) is providing the interactive design for the Web site and desktop application.

The project will corral such high profile content as “Vince Vaughn’s Wild West Picture Show,” focused on standup comedy; short subjects from Kevin Spacey’s TriggerStreet.com (which A-B has supported for four years); and the Ben Affleck/Matt Damon-spawned LivePlanet. Original content will come from SEED, @radical.media, Omelet and DDB Worldwide. Schumacker said the company is working with sportscaster Joe Buck to develop a Bud.TV talk show.

Bud.TV will also offer a desktop application and distribution system with full-screen, DVD-quality viewing, assembled by Nine Systems in San Diego.

Jeff Suhy, VP of creative development at Nine Systems said, “Knowing that Anheuser-Bush is one of the largest brands on the planet, they want to make a big splash. The main thing is the content itself. The content isn’t long-form advertising or self-serving in any way.”

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