Firebrand Thinks People Will Actively Seek Commercials

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We really wonder if people do their homework before launching what they believe will become something akin to the next YouTube. The idea of commercials as content has been done many times before and has failed each time. However, the recently launched Firebrand doesn't seem to care and believes its offering of the "coolest" commercials served up MTV VJ-style will connect "consumers directly with their favorite brands in an integrated environment." How many billions of time have we heard that before?

We tried really hard not to laugh when Firebrand CEO Roman Vinoly said, "We program TV spots like a DJ spins music in a club. There is a rhythm and flow to it." In an attempt to spin Firebrand as something other than a massive database of commercials, Vinoly adds, "On Firebrand, you'll see more car chases, explosions, gags, drama, heroes, Oscar-winning actors, directors and producers in an hour than in a month of HBO." Right, dude. They're still fucking commercials. Not The Sopranos.

Firebrand thinks the growth of social media, the proliferation and normalization of 24/7 connectivity and those Gen Y/Millennial types who love to "voraciously consume pop culture" will somehow elevate a commercial to an episode of Heroes.

Firebrand will roll out October 22 at 11PM on ION Television to 94 million households as well as online, mobile and through iTunes. The service will even offer the ability to create playlists. Yes, you heard that right. Playlists of commercials.

With investors such as Microsoft, NBC Universal and GE's Peacock Equity Fund along with distribution through VNU's AdWeek, Firebrand won't go out without a fight. No doubt, it will be voraciously consumed by those in the industry but we simply can not envision the average person watching a VJ spin commercials. We just can't. Of course, we could be totally wrong. It's not like we haven't been before. In fact, we hope we are wrong. Maybe the hot host with cleavage will do the trick.

For those advertisers who choose to place their commercial on Firebrand, they will be provided with what's being dubbed the Firebrand Dashboard, gleefully described as "an innovative diagnostic tool that integrates industry standard television and online response data."

We'd actually love to see an entity like this become successful. It might even make us offer up a dreaded Agency.com-style fist bump to Firebrand. As fist bump-averse as we are, we really hope we have the opportunity to offer one up. Though, we're not holding our breath.

by Steve Hall    Sep-26-07   Click to Comment   
Topic: Bad, Cable, Commercials, Mobile/Wireless, Online, Opinion, Television   

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Comments



Comments

So why wouldn't people just go to YouTube if they want to watch commercials?

Posted by: Dan on September 26, 2007 2:48 PM

Because commercials don't just show up on YouTube ... finding commercials on YouTube is sort of a crapshoot. I tried to illustrate my site with a commercial for the Mercedes C-Class (about the car being designed for aggressive driving) but it wasn't there ... yet. So, you can't assume that commercials will ever end up on YouTube... that's why... Firebrand intends to be a commercials desitination.

Posted by: Chris Abraham on September 26, 2007 4:24 PM

Another point that Firebrand offers that YouTube and others don't. Deeper seach capabilities. By country. By timeframe. And most importantly, by brand. Plus it will be interactive.

YouTube, which I love, is too general.

Posted by: jptrenn on September 26, 2007 5:14 PM

Steve...


We believe that people really like good, entertaining commercials. How else could some of them become such powerful cultural touchstones? And the way people seek them out on the web, email them to each other, or anticipate great “Super Bowl” spots bears this out. So does our research.

What’s really wrong is the way all commercials (even the good ones) have been relegated to less than second class status either as interruptions on TV or banner ads on the web. That’s what really turns people off. Increasingly, technology empowers us (consumers) to control what we look at. Yet most media still don’t get it and persist in their belief that an advertiser’s message can be forced on us. In the current landscape, the only alternative – as the advertising industry likes to say – is choice.

Firebrand takes only the best spots, created by the best artists (some even directed episodes of The Sopranos...see: http://www.boardsmag.com/articles/magazine/20020401/coulter.html), and programs them in a clean, uncluttered environment with offers, contests and interactive functionality that enable transparent and honest communication between brands and consumers. So people can choose to watch great ads and then choose to do something about what they see.


Posted by: Román Viñoly on September 26, 2007 11:22 PM

Steve...



We believe that people really like good, entertaining commercials. How else could some of them become such powerful cultural touchstones? And the way people seek them out on the web, email them to each other, or anticipate great "Super Bowl" spots bears this out. So does our research.

What's really wrong is the way all commercials (even the good ones) have been relegated to less than second class status either as interruptions on TV or banner ads on the web. That's what really turns people off. Increasingly, technology empowers us (consumers) to control what we look at. Yet most media still don't get it and persist in their belief that an advertiser's message can be forced on us. In the current landscape, the only alternative - as the advertising industry likes to say - is choice.

Firebrand takes only the best spots, created by the best artists (some even directed episodes of The Sopranos...see: http://www.boardsmag.com/articles/magazine/20020401/coulter.html), and programs them in a clean, uncluttered environment with offers, contests and interactive functionality that enable transparent and honest communication between brands and consumers. So people can choose to watch great ads and then choose to do something about what they see.

Posted by: Román Viñoly on September 26, 2007 11:27 PM

Oh I get it, Firebrand is like a nature preserve in Africa, where you can put all the endangered species in one place.

"Mommy, what is it?"

"That's a 30 second spot, it use to roam the plains in the thousands."

Posted by: Irony, where is thy sting? on September 28, 2007 10:17 AM

FYI - ION Media Networks goes to trial tomorrow in Los Angeles for a Federal lawsuit over their alleged trademark infringement. Positive Ions Inc. is asking for an injunction against IMN's continued use of ION. Jury trial is expected to last two weeks.

Posted by: blog dog on November 12, 2007 5:28 PM







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