Will Arnett sat across from Conan O’Brien during an October 2011 taping of TBS’ Conan and spent half his interview educating the cable television network’s late night talk show host, his sidekick Andy Richter, and the audiences watching from home and inside the Warner Bros. studio lot about the finer points of branded entertainment.
Arnett has a good amount of experience on the topic, being that he’s one half of the creative team behind DumbDumb, a production company he started with his Arrested Development co-star Jason Bateman in partnership with Ben Silverman’s next generation multimedia studio, Electus. The production company (and/or “comedy enterprise”) has created a number of creative online video advertising campaigns (which actually work) for well-known brands like Orbitz and Denny’s since its inception in early 2010.
Because of that experience (and because he has a lot in common with TBS’ current slogan), Arnett did an excellent job explaining the “brand-inspired entertainment” he creates and produces. TBS executives must’ve thought so, too, because the Time Warner-owned cable television channel recently inked a deal with DumbDumb for a half-dozen digital shorts.
The industry-exclusive agreement initially calls for DumbDumb to “produce up to six short-form comedy videos, each featuring a sponsor’s brand inegration and the DumbDumb stable of comedic stars” (which includes famous individuals like Arnett, Bateman, Sarah Silverman, David Koechner, Amy Poehler, Will Forte, and more). The shorts will then be distributed on TBS.com (and other TBS online destinations like Teamcoco.com, Adultswim.com, and NBA.com) and be promoted on-air by way of (or at commercial breaks during) TBS’ popular television properties like Conan, Family Guy, and The Big Bang Theory.
The deal will give DumbDumb some serious marketing muscle and an opportunity to dramatically scale up its audiences, which should help entice more sponsors to spend more of their marketing dollars on the production house’s special brand of branded entertainment.
“Jason Bateman and Will Arnett are two of the funniest and most creative guys in the industry,” said Laura Dames, Senior Vice President, Business Operations, Turner Entertainment Networks. “We are thrilled to pair their very funny, sponsor-driven videos with TBS’s reach and distribution to bring this content to our young, comedy-loving audience on TBS.com, as well as across TBS’s social network footprint.”
There’s no word yet on which sponsors will be the first to see their DumbDumb videos benefit from that TBS reach and distribution. Stay tuned.