Here is a quote from Britan's The Independent Media section (Monday, 17 August 2009) worth sharing about a made for web show that is really a long commercial. The call outs are added.
"It is a sign of the media times, and a blueprint for the sort of advertising packages we can expect to see more of over here: content-led, media-rich and ad agency not required. Advertisers don’t want off-the-peg advertising spots any more. They want bespoke, multi-media deals built on content that is tailored to their brand’s market and message and amplified across different media channels.
Not for nothing is the US media company behind The Broadroom called Meredith 360. Meredith publishes almost 200 magazines, owns 12 TV stations, controls 32 websites and publishes over 300 books. Its 360 division packages up audiences across these myriad assets to sell to advertisers. Media owners here have tried similar cross-media sells, but it’s not yet an established advertising pattern. The sum has rarely been greater than the parts. But don’t imagine that, say, Rupert Murdoch’s media interests aren’t moving towards this sort of cross-media (and cross-border) deal-making with advertisers. It will come.
And TV on the internet is where it’s all going: it’s cheaper and less messy than the old broadcast route, with none of those annoying broadcast rules about things like product placement to comply with, and you don’t even need to convince a commissioning editor that anyone’s going to watch the damn thing. So advertisers are beginning to exploit the ease of access and lower entry costs to bring their own ad-funded shows to the web.
Now, ask an advertising agency about this sort of long-form commercial content, and they’ll have their sleeves rolled up before you’ve even finished the question. We can do it, they’ll say. Just let us at it. But, deep down, ad agencies know it’s not really their game. The TV production industry is better placed to make this sort of content for advertisers, if only it could bear to become more aggressively commercial.
So Maybelline is not using an ad agency. It’s using Meredith and American production company Co-Op TV. Anyway, there aren’t many writers like Candace Bushnell tucked away in your average creative department. And the beauty of doing this sort of venture with a media owner is that Maybelline can leverage the ready-made audience of More! magazine readers and exploit its deal with Meredith to leverage off-line promotion for the show. Expect more examples of advertisers working direct with media owners to create new cross-media ad-funded content models."
This process does not require a media conglomerate and a major consumer goods manufacturer to execute. The cross media world is avaialble to anyone with a few thousand dollars of ad spend.