Firebrand Thinks People Will Actively Seek Commercials
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.