Online Reality Series Draws Major Sponsors

As its second season comes to a close, online reality show Cube Fabulous is claiming success, having grown its audience to 4.5 million unique visitors and signed several big name sponsors.

The show consists of seven-minute episodes, broadcast exclusively online, where disgruntled cube dwellers have their desks upgraded by a team of designers. Cubes have been endowed with themes like punk rock and ski chalet; one was even transformed into a human-sized acquarium.

“There’s a real opportunity in this industry to create something that never existed before,” said Matt Wasserlauf, CEO of Broadband Enterprises, which produces Cube Fabulous. “We’re going to drive time spent metrics while people are watching video; we are going to allow them to watch unique programming.”

Originally targeted to the 18- to 24-year-old market, Cube Fbulous is now attempting to reach an older audience with new episodes. Broadband Enterprises said the show has logged 100 million streams, with 75 to 100 million ad impressions from 4.5 million unique viewers. Total ad billings are $2.1 million.

And while the show does include pre-roll ads, Cube Fabulous has gone beyond simple video spots with sponsor partners such as Honda, Monster.com and America Online, said Wasserlauf. Because Cube Fabulous is clearly targeted to “the disgruntled cube dweller who’s not completely satisfied in their work and looking for something better,” it was a good match for Monster.com. The resume hosting site worked with Broadband Enterprises to host the “Casting Couch” for potential cube overhauls.

“We are now sending a lot of viewers to Monter.com,” said Wasserlauf. “When they submit to the show, they also submit their résumé, so [the sponsor is] integrated and seeing a high return from the show.”

Honda’s involvement includes a product placement with its new Fit model. Cube Fabulous designers race from cube to cube in the car. And latest sponsor AOL has seen its instant messaging client pushed directly to the viewer.

“If you want to IM someone about the show, you can do so,” said Wasserlauf. “In addition to running the pre-rolls and integrating the AIM product into the show, we provided a number of links around the show to the AIM platform.”

As Cube Fabulous moves into its third season, Wasserlauf said integrated video content and advertising will continue to guide the show.

“We’re trying to find innovative ways of driving experience around and integrated within video so everyone benefits,” he said. “Our medium is going to be the host of the next great hit show in America. That’s an opportunity that we should all be thinking about and fostering.”

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