NBCU going hog wild with video sites. The launch of the NBC-News Corp. YouTube killer this fall will be followed by the launch of “Didja,” an all-ad site. Variety:
Set to launch early next year, site will offer a vast archive of current and classic TV spots, movie trailers and other “brand-related content.” USA-Sci Fi Channel prexy Bonnie Hammer said the goal is to “become the go-to destination for on-demand advertising content.”
“Didja.com is the logical next step in the changing dynamic between consumers and advertisers,” Hammer said. “There’s no doubt that commercials are major drivers of pop culture — all you have to do is check out traffic on any video-sharing site. We want to own that watercooler conversation.”
Any time a traditional media exec says they “want to own something,” we break out in hives, but we actually don’t hate this idea. People love watching good ads, especially when they’re in control, and unlike standard TV content, ads are the right length for web viewing. Competition includes TBS’s Veryfunnyads.com and a start-up called adTV.
Launch of Didja — whose name is a play on the phrase “Did ya see that?” [It has a name at least, unlike the NBC-News YouTube Killer] — marks USA’s first digital media initiative not directly linked to the cabler’s programming. Brainstormed by USA execs, Didja will start out with extensive promotion on the channel and will eventually extend to all divisions of NBC Universal.
Peacock will use its massive ad sales division to help stock the site with content. Conglom hopes that advertisers will eventually pay for prominent placement on the site or create microsites within Didja focusing on their brand (an all-McDonald’s channel, for example)… Cabler will seek five to 10 “charter” advertisers to help launch Didja. Those companies will get premium positioning on the site as well as access to planned on-air cross-promotion of it. Sponsors also will get the chance to create customised online environments for their Didja-hosted spots. A page filled with classic Kraft Macaroni & Cheese ads from years past could also include links to Kraft coupons or recipes, for example.
Didja will feature extensive social-networking features (so fans of, say, classic kiddie cereal commercials can geek out together), as well as a mash-up kit that will allow consumers to make their own tributes to brands. Advertisers will upload commercials to the site themselves via their ad agencies, with videos playing via NBC’s copy-protected player.