Warner Bros Presents Digital Ads

    September 5, 2006
    WebProNews Staff

The long-time Hollywood power will expend some energy to focus on short-form marketing content destined for the Internet and mobile phones.

Companies that want their message to reach an audience on platforms beyond the television may be enticed to check in with Warner Bros. AdAge reported that the studio home of Bugs Bunny could make a mockery out of the advertising business with its initiative.

The article said Warner Bros would brand this new division with the cringe-inducing moniker ‘Studio 2.0’. They snared long-time ad vet Rich Rosenthal away from the Young & Rubicam agency to head up the division and make friends with marketers like his old clients from General Mills and Proctor & Gamble.

Since Warner Bros is part of Time Warner, as is AOL, a couple of questions come to mind immediately. First, why did Time Warner create a brand new division to handle digital content when AOL has some expertise in doing so, and especially right after the relaunch of AOL Video?

It isn’t unprecedented. Sports Illustrated, a Time Publishing title, chose to work with Yahoo after AOL showed no interest in building a sports portal with the magazine, as PaidContent hinted in July.

And second, will the ads created by Studio 2.0 also find their way onto the network of AOL’s advertising buddy, Google? It seems that a billion-dollar investment in AOL should lead to some of those video ads being placed and revenue shared on the AdSense Network.

The big hook for marketers will be if Studio 2.0 can deliver on its promise to accomplish what they want with their ad messages:

“We’ve been hearing from advertisers that they want to closely align their messages with entertainment content,” said Craig Hunegs, exec VP-Warner Bros. TV Group. “The goal is to create stand-alone content that speaks to the audience. It’s not about creating something that looks like a commercial.”

That makes it sound like product placement will be involved, similar to that done on television shows and in movies all the time. Maybe instead of Bugs Bunny pushing aside Elmer Fudd’s shotgun and munching on a nondescript carrot, the carrot will have an obvious sticker that reads ADM, for Archer Daniels Midland, on it.


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David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.