A couple of weeks ago, I was in New York to participate in a press conference for Firebrand, one of our clients at crayon.
I'm not going to spend a lot of time talking about the features of Firebrand, as they've been covered by Joe and Greg, among others. Before I tell you about the event, here's a thumbnail sketch of Firebrand. Essentially, Firebrand offers Web, TV and mobile viewing of top-notch television commercials, but with a twist that sets it apart from other online video properties: they're all-commercials, all the time; and the site allows you to actually participate in contests, giveaways and offers from the very brands that you're watching.
While it may seem counterintuitive that crayon, the company whose founder bemoans the tired old 30-second spot, was involved, there was a method to our madness. You see, in this case, the ads are not interruptions of the feature program: they are the feature program. Commercials as content. And we can support entertainment and engagement.
Now let me tell you a little bit about the event itself.
Firebrand planned a press conference for September 25, during Advertising Week - perfect timing, as lots of industry people would be in town and journalists would be in the mood to talk about marketing & advertising. Held at the Paley Center for Media (formerly the Museum of Television and Radio), it was the perfect spot for debuting a brand that is multimedia in nature.
In addition to a nod to the past and present, Firebrand also looked to the future, by virtue of the invitation list. There were probably about 75 people in attendance in the hall - mostly traditional journalists - and I was impressed with the turnout. But here's the interesting part: I was one of a handful of bloggers who were there as well (many more were invited, but unable to attend). When you consider that Firebrand's target audience is Millennials, having the news break on blogs is a natural move.
The bloggers - who were treated the same as the traditional press - were given press kits, including glossies and a traditional press release, as well as links to the social media news release for the event. The SMNR had links to pages on YouTube, Flickr and del.icio.us and even a Facebook group. Based on what I've seen from some prominent bloggers, the SMNR was widely used, as video links and quotes continue to pop up everywhere. And the Facebook group has already garnered over 500 members.
All this, and the site doesn't even go live until October 22! Not bad. Stay tuned for the beta release...