Archive for the ‘Webisode’ Category

don’t tell me, show me

February 13, 2009

Very often, I am talking with marketing managers and/or managing directors. In the middle of telling  them about how we’re producing and distributing branded original content across a network of sites online, they ask me a very simple question: “Why video content?”. Admittedly, they went on to say that they know who they are (and who their companies are), “I’m the producer and seller of Product X, which does A, B and C,” they said, “not the producer of great video content.”

So I explained that when they do tell people who they are(mostly via banner advertising), fewer and fewer people tend to trust them. In fact, Don Tapscott’s book “Grown Up Digital” points to a whole generation that is amazingly adept at detecting, filtering, skipping and blocking ad messages all together.

The old screenwriter adage “don’t tell me, show me,” is extremely relevant, and branded entertainment is something advertisers have been doing successfully for years. Just as they embraced running TV spots online, advertisers find it a natural progression to embrace other proven “offline” tactics like product integration and show sponsorship, and bring them online.

Unlike ads, branded content engages people with good story-telling, while at the same time showing your product in action. Rather than telling people the features of Product X, you get to illustrate authentically, without heavy sales spin, how Product X fits into a particular lifestyle.

I pointed out that Honda, which recently produced a “Dream the Impossible” documentary series, states in one of its videos: “Honda is an engine company.” But even as an engine company, Honda strategists saw the potential of tapping into the power of story-telling and communicating personal narratives that correlate with their brand.

Where banner ads simply flash a message, and rich-media ads only invite interaction, good content and Webisodic series hold the customers’ attention for minutes at a time, lure them back for repeat exposure, and communicate much more than the often forgettable “buy me” messaging of a traditional 30-second spot.

In today’s digital environment, where empowered consumers dictate their media schedule and only flock to brands they can relate to and connect with, offering your client base quality and entertaining content is a better way to connect and stick out from the clutter. What’s more, the best of traditional Web advertising still applies. In terms of distribution, content can be super-targeted to the right eyeballs, significantly reducing waste. Could you imagine if television networks, rather than shooting a number of shows out to a diverse audience and crossing their fingers for big pockets of success, could target each of their shows to the people who wanted to watch and enjoy them ?

As an example, I pointed out that Honda could easily distribute full episodes of their documentary series around the Web and target them using contextual and behavior methods to get in front of their core target; 25-to-49-year-olds with a youthful spirit and who are comfortable with technology.

Finally, I pointed out that unlike banner ads, whose success is often judged by how many clicks a unit got (a metric that has yet to correlate to brand lift), content can be tracked on a whole new set of much more in-depth metrics.

“You can see how long people are engaged with content, where they rewind or fast-forward, how many times they watch and re-watch content, as well as where and when the pass the content to friends or re-post the content to their own social media sites,” I noted.

I would have continued — but they stopped me at that point by yelling over me, “I get it! Goodbye banners, hello Webisodes.”

“Exactly,” I said. “Exactly.”


The Marvellous Flying Box

October 20, 2008

Cet automne, Ebuco sera en tournage d’une nouvelle web série The Marvellous Flying Box. Une grosse machine se met en place ! Plus d’infos prochainement…

Producers Partner with MySpace for Quarterlife Series

September 14, 2007

Veteran entertainment producers Marshall Herskovitz and Edward Zwick have partnered with MySpace to distribute the new series Quarterlife, reports The New York Times.The producing team originally pegged Quarterlife, a show about a group of 20-somethings trying to figure their lives out, as a TV series. But network red tape pushed the pair to produce it as an online original, eventually partnering with MySpace to have the show appear on MySpaceTV, where it debuts November 11th.

The series will also have its own website at, where episodes will appear the day after they debut. Herskovitz and Zwick plan to use the site to create a social network of sorts, where young people can seek jobs and foster professional connections with others. Visitors will also be able to comment on the show and possibly influence future story lines.

MySpace will share a portion of the ad revenue from the show with the producers. Herskovitz and Marshall are also exploring product placement opportunities to finance production, the most expensive ever for a web-only show.


Vuguru Announces New Online Series

July 27, 2007

Vuguru, the Michael Eisner-led media production entity behind the Prom Queen series, has announced plans for its next online serial, reports MediaWeek.

The show will be called The All-For-Nots, a fictionalized look at an independent band and its experiences on tour. Each of the 24 planned episodes will take place in a different city.

Episodes will run seven minutes in length. New ones will be released weekly, more closely mirroring a TV show’s run. Dinosaur Diorama Productions will create the show, as well as shorts and concert footage to accompany the main episodes.

Vuguru also announced a second run of Prom Queen, this one sub-titled Summer Heat. New episodes will roll out in August.

Microsoft Acquires Sponsors for Series

June 17, 2007

Microsoft has enlisted two major brands as sponsors for a pair of web-only video shows, reports The Associated Press.

The shows, Driving School and This is the Life, will be featured on the MSN Web site and come courtesy of Reveille, the production company responsible for The Office and Ugly Betty. Volvo will sponsor Driving School, and This is the Life links to a current campaign from Chivas Regal.

Microsoft and Reveille have partnered for content before, turning out a number of shows in the last twelve months. “Chef to the Rescue,” a product placement for Kraft, proved successful for the food manufacturer.

The two new shows will debut in the next six months. MSN is trying to create engaging content to improve its sixth-place ranking among video hubs.

Prom Queen

April 6, 2007

MySpace today announced a partnership to debut Prom Queen, a scripted serialized mystery produced by Michael Eisner’s new independent production studio Vuguru, first on MySpace. Each episode will launch on the show’s official profile twelve hours before being released on any other website.

Prom Queen, set against the final two months of the high school year, premieres Sunday, April 1, at 7 pm EST on MySpace. This short-form series will unravel over 80 episodes, each running 90 seconds long. The MySpace Video channel and show profile page will spotlight exclusive series content including character profiles, behind-the-scenes video footage, character diaries, and storyline secrets.

Rise Of The Hybrids

October 1, 2006

NIKE has just put on line its new Nike Lab. Nike decided to once more transport us in his universe and to make us live a single experiment Web.

This time, on, through a series of videos (3 currently available), you will discover an imaginary world where comets of colors come to be crushed on the Earth and involve the fusion of animals, the fusion of plants with minerals. This surrealist hybrid world offers to us a real moment of dream.