Turner & FunnyOrDie Flex “Branded Entertainment” Muscles for HTC

/ Apr 12, 2013


If you want a good example of what we can expect from the content and sales partnership that Turner Broadcasting and Funny Or Die announced last May, look no further than the branded video they released today on behalf of smartphone-maker HTC.

As first reported by Adweek, Turner and Funny Or Die have created a four-minute short starring James Van Der Beek to promote the HTC One. In the video, Van Der Beek plays the host of a reality show called “The One,” in which a bachelorette has to choose the phone of her dreams. If this reminds you of “The Bachelor” (or, since we’re talking about online video, “Burning Love”), you’re not far off. Except, here, the contestants a bunch of dudes dressed in foam costumes representing different types of “competing” phones. Naturally, the HTC One stars as itself, sitting comfortably (seductively?) on a pillow.

The One with James Van Der Beek – watch more funny videos

The video was posted on Funny Or Die today, after which it will roll out across several Turner-owned television networks and websites. The distribution list includes TBS, truTV, and Adult Swim (all of which will air shorter versions of the sketch), as well as TBS.com, AdultSwim.com, truTV.com, and TeamCoco.com. An existing deal between Funny Or Die and in-cinema programming and advertising company NCM Media Networks means the short will also show up in more than 19,000 theaters across the country.

When Turner and Funny Or Die announced their partnership during Turner’s upfront presentation last May, much was made about marrying the video site’s ability to make funny, shareable content with Turner’s reach across screens, including, most notably, television. For brands, this meant putting their message or product in front of a TBS or Adult Swim fan, regardless of if that person was watching either network’s content on air or online.

That’s the real juice to this campaign.

Branded entertainment can be great, and the web offers ample space for brands to entertain fans with that type of content (just ask Old Spice or Red Bull). And Funny Or Die was making videos for brands before Turner decided to invest in and partner with it.

What’s different now is quite simply the multi-platform reach that a company like Turner can offer. “This is the first time it’s the fully blown-out version of what this relationship with Turner can be,” Ed Wise, senior vice president for Turner Branded Entertainment, told Adweek.

This reach isn’t necessarily restricted to Turner’s comedy-centric properties, either. “For example, Funny Or Die created content for Target that featured the cast of TNT’s Dallas, and was promoted across other nets,” Wise tells VideoInk.

That said, Funny Or Die content will most often show up on Turner’s comedy-centric properties like TBS and Adult Swim. “In general, we look to identify and develop opportunities for clients that will have an impact across all of our brands and media platforms, as appropriate,” adds Wise.

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