Ford Sponsored Content Debuts on Digital Entertainment Network

In a sponsorship deal that hearkens back to the early days of television, the Generation Y-oriented Digital Entertainment Network (DEN) Wednesday debuted a four-part broadband video series on drinking and driving, sponsored by Ford Motor Company.

The documentary program, called ‘confiDENtial’, usually features young people talking about issues like eating disorders, violence in schools and drug abuse.

The Ford-sponsored series, which starts on December 28th, will show a young girl being arrested at a sobriety checkpoint, the tragic aftermath of a fatal accident, a tour of the L.A. County morgue, and part of a court-ordered program designed to deter young drunk drivers.

Ford sees this as an opportunity to associate itself with safety, and to make inroads with the young people that DEN is aiming to reach.

Sponsorships like this deal may be one of the advertising models that take hold as broadband video programming becomes more pervasive.

Others are inserting TV-like commercials within streaming video, or serving up full-motion ads before a video stream begins. Of course, there’s still the question of whether there’s an audience for this kind of programming. Do people want to watch TV-like programming on their computers?

DEN is currently trying to drum up interest in a $75 million IPO, for which it filed documents in September. The company began airing programs on May 10 and since then has premiered 13 original series.

The company says it also has sponsorship agreements with Pepsi and Microsoft.

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