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Lonelygirl15 Model for Online Ads August 19, 2007

Posted by Joanne KY Teoh in Advertising, Convergence, Social Media, Trends, Web Video, YouTube.
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The Web series that featured the character Lonelygirl15, known to millions of web surfers as Bree, is pushing on without her. The show’s creators believe video watchers and advertisers are hooked on other members of the series even though Bree is dead.

Lonelygirl’s popularity soared since the revelation that what seemed like a teen girl’s innocent online video log was actually a scripted show with young actors, one portraying 15-year-old Bree.

Statistics on websites such as YouTube show that some episodes attract more than 1 million views. The interactive episodes average between one and three minutes. The show has added to the online landscape by mixing elements used in online programming with social networking.

The show producers are looking into more sophisticated methods of advertising and have designed the series website to feature more than the typical banner ads and sponsorships from Google AdSense.

Because the show is based on an interactive experience between the characters and viewers, the website includes a forum that lets fans discuss all things Lonelygirl. Another possible ad model is to tap into ideas from viewers.

What’s unique here is the immersiveness of the program inside a social network, enabling you to do stuff that you can’t do on YouTube. People are for the first time realizing what it means to develop a show for the internet, and not just repackaging it for the internet.

ZIV NAVOTH, VP-marketing, Bebo.

Show creators have left room for marketeers with product placement and brand integration. Hershey’s IceBreakers Sour Gum was prominently featured in one episode where Bree refused to share the product with her friends. In a two-month deal with Johnson & Johnson, the Neutrogena line became part of the plot, with a new character, working as a scientist for the company.

Similar methods are in full swing for Lonelygirl spinoff, KateModern. There are deals with MSN, Walt Disney’s Buena Vista, Paramount, Procter & Gamble, and Orange Mobile, a British telephone company.

Article adapted from Advertising Age Online.

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