Companies Realizing That Content Is Advertising Via Web Series

from the well,-it's-a-start dept

The NY Times has an article about the rise of online "web series" shows that are suddenly popular, noting that many brands are creating such things as a way to produce interesting content online while getting some attention for their brand. It's yet another realization that advertising is content and content is advertising. The key point, that many say they realize (and hopefully they live up to it) is that none of this works if the content itself sucks. So they're working on these shows with a focus on making them good and enjoyable to watch first, and including the sponsorship as a secondary part of the effort. I'm sure there may be some backlash over this idea, but it actually makes quite a lot of sense. It gets more good content out there, and helps brands get themselves noticed and remembered not for intrusive and annoying advertising, but for sponsoring something cool.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. icon
    Alias (profile), Nov 24th, 2009 @ 9:37pm

    A great example of this

    is the Milkdonkulous and the Battle for Milkquarious content on the web right now (, which is not only hilarious, but has the whole 'milk' message which is done in an entertaining way with an over-the-top, 70's-styled theme throughout the video. It's worth a watch if you haven't seen it before. This hits squarely on what Mike is trying to say here, 'Content is advertising, etc'. -Alias

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. identicon
    p0ps, Nov 25th, 2009 @ 3:15am

    Web - TV

    As a model, this seems to be the same as early TV or radio before it. The advertisers create a show and sponsor it. To gain audience, the advertisers necessarily needed to focusing on the content, the industry grew into a split between content creators and advertising. Some creative teams creating the show content, some creating the advertising content. When it was successful, the audience grew to love the show, tolerated the advertising. Is there anyway for this to be different?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. icon
    pjhenry1216 (profile), Nov 25th, 2009 @ 3:28am

    I always enjoyed 30 Rock's over the top, in your face product placement. They always did it in such a way that it was actually part of a joke. While they didn't try to hide it in any way, quite the opposite in fact, it also wasn't intrusive.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 25th, 2009 @ 5:05am

    Yes, content is advertising - even the news.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 25th, 2009 @ 5:55am

    It doesn't work if you have nothing to sell up to.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. identicon
    Pete Austin, Nov 25th, 2009 @ 7:07am

    Advertising CAN work if the content itself sucks

    For example, half the marketing in a typical national election is dreadful attack adverts. I mean production quality, not morals. These do nothing to boost the client who paid for them, more the opposite, but they are worthwhile because they damage the opponent more. Here's a classic of the genre.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. icon
    Social Networking Software (profile), Nov 25th, 2009 @ 7:10am

    With more and more people getting their "media" fix from mobile devices and social networking websites, these Webisodes are the logical next step in entertainment/advertising. They are also being used to create "hype and buzz" for new product launches.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8. identicon
    Vinnie, Nov 25th, 2009 @ 8:34am

    Back to the roots

    Great point by p0ps. I listen to a lot of old time radio, so that was the first thing I thought of too. Though the sponsor usually just got a few plugs and their name on the title, even some those old radio programs that overtly doubled as ads for the product proved successful, especially done in a short serial format.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9. identicon
    Gene Cavanaugh, Nov 25th, 2009 @ 8:39am

    Advertising is content, etc.

    Wow! To me, if I find there is something I want, and it is a good cost-benefit tradeoff, I will eventually find it - in fact, that is how my IP business works; I don't advertise, never have, probably never will. However, while I don't get in, "fleece a sucker", and get out again (the apparent purpose of much advertising), my business continues to grow and grow.
    Took years to kick it off, but my client base is REALLY solid; they know they are getting the "best for less", and it just gets better and better (for them and for me!).

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 25th, 2009 @ 12:20pm


    Why would be you spamming sites with banner ads and filling inboxes with spam mail if you didn't have anything to sell?

    The point is that the market has become overly saturated with "ignorable" ads, and to stand out you need to create something that people want to talk about, and want to go looking for.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 25th, 2009 @ 2:44pm

    BMW called, and wants their idea back.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 27th, 2009 @ 6:28pm


    Shame they didn't patent it.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13. Content is part of the real scope in the online world. we must offer and provide and they will buy for us. :)

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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