Clorox’s Hidden Valley Ranch is sponsoring a new digital series from NBC Universal Digital Studio.
NBC’s ivillage.com is the main home for “Garden Party,” which premiered Jan. 19 and features actress Jennie Garth talking about a different vegetable each month. But viewers can also access it at Hidden Valley’s site, on mobile devices and through video-on-demand TV.
“What’s interesting is…the breath of distribution being applied to this show,” according to Cameron Death (pronounced “Deeth”), the studio’s VP of digital content. “It’s sort of distribution and content everywhere and having the brands leverage their own existing channels to distribute content as well.”
Ivillage.com is promoting the show through banner placements and mentions in food-related stories. Additionally, “Garden Party” is being advertised in half-minute spots being aired on NBC television stations.
Death said NBC Universal Digital Studio has an advantage over some competitors because it can, “in house,” handle most all the tasks involved in fielding a digital series, from landing deals with sponsors to producing episodes and having them distributed. He said the studio has announced one other show, sponsored by AT&T and tentatively titled “dial*,” to be launched in the spring. Unlike Garden Party’s educational approach, the AT&T-sponsored series will be fictional comedy entertainment.
Garden Party is slated for a six-month run. Death would not reveal the vegetable being featured next month. However, he said Garth’s involvement is part of a trend in which “A-list talent is wanting to be part of digital shows and content” because it is an easy way for them to connect with fans and, at least in Garth’s case, show that they’re real people. “She’s not just a talking head,” Death said. “She’s a mom who cares passionately [about healthy diet].”
With social media reach and engagement rates having dipped so precipitously over the last year or so, paying to play is the only option for most brands now.
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