Cultural theorists have long predicted the integration of advertising with entertainment content. Often, advertisers do this by inserting their products into established, popular shows, rather than trying to build narratives and characters around the brand from scratch. However, we are seeing more and more commercial webisodes of the sort IKEA has produced for Youtube (see as well, Fresh Takes, Alicia Keys’ “micro-series” for the Dove Go Fresh campaign http://brownsista.com/alcia-keys-fresh-takes-miccro-series/). But how successful have these efforts been? ‘Fresh Takes’ appears to have had little impact and most of the episodes in the IKEA series above have only double digit YouTube views. Compare that to the million + views of many of Allstate’s viral Mayhem commercials (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nFVpaQGltrI&feature=related)
All three productions were intended to have high entertainment value and prevent viewers from remembering they were watching an ad. So what explains the huge difference in their success? Is it an issue of commercial length? The ironic tone of the Allstate ads? Or merely a matter of writing quality?
– Nima Hassan