“Burning Love” has been breaking some serious ground in online video, according to panelists at the iMedia Video Summit yesterday. Titled “Case Study: ‘Web Content Goes Big: The 'Burning Love' Story,” the panel highlighted the show’s unprecedented success with advertisers. In a unique deal announced on Feb. 11, PHD (Adweek’s Global Agency of the Year) bought all ad inventory for the second and third seasons of the Yahoo! original hit series. Almost a month into the deal, 11 PHD clients have signed up to sponsor the show, said panelist Kelley Train, PHD’s Director of Digital Development in the U.S., and the results have been “incredibly positive.”
“Right out of the gate, we’re hitting all our benchmarks,” said Train, citing strong performance in completion rates and clickthroughs for interactive ad units that have run on the show. Train was joined on the iMedia panel by Anna Robertson, Head of Yahoo! Studios, and Amy Powell, President, Insurge Pictures and Paramount Digital Entertainment.
PHD is taking some innovative directions in its advertising strategies for the show. One client is integrating two products---Tums and Breathe Right nasal strips--- into the show’s scripts. “This show has some of the biggest comedic talent in the world,” said Paramount’s Powell. “We sat them down with a bottle of Tums and a box of Breathe Rights and said, ‘Come up with some funny ideas.’ To PHD’s credit, they let the writers have fun with the brands, and we shot some hilarious scenes that really work.”
According to Robertson, when Paramount first pitched the series spoofing reality dating shows to Yahoo!, going for it was a “no-brainer.” “Comedy is huge online, especially with younger audiences,” she said. “And reality shows are something that Yahoo! users really care about. We loved the idea of reshaping the reality format in a fun, innovative way.” The show had 11 million unique viewers in its first season. “That rivals some of the most popular cable TV shows,” she said.
But as it kicks off its second season, “Burning Love” isn’t TV’s rival any longer. On Feb. 25, it became that rare series that made the transition from Web to TV, debuting on E! Entertainment Television. To fit the TV format, two 11-minute Web episodes are joined together to make one television show.
See what advertisers are buzzing about and check out “Burning Love” for yourself.