Firebrand – Extremely Ambitious Advertising as Content Destination

firebrand technoratiIf there was a techmeme for marketing Firebrand would be the most talked about story for sure. Even technorati which famously lumps every blog in the world in the same category is listing Firebrand in it’s top ten searched terms. With Rohit, Jaffe (Firebrand is a client of Jaffe’s Crayon), and Steve Hall weighing in it’s generating a lot of buzz in the Marketing O’Sphere.

So what is Firebrand? Some would say it’s a YouTube for commercials, but it’s not really, YouTube implies consumer generated, and Firebrand is almost completely big company generated. It’s a place where companies can showcase their commercials, and customers will come to watch the commercials, or at least that’s the idea. Watch this ad for Firebrand and I think it will give you a very good idea of how ambitious this project really is:

If your a marketer your heart is probably racing after watching that commercial, but as with most movie trailers they just put a montage of the best bits together, it was really a montage of the best ads of the last decade. But how many Wasssup’s can their possibly be, are there really enough really GREAT commercials to sustain an enterprise this ambitious? If they create original, edgy, hysterical, and brilliant commercials for it then they have a shot. I think it’s more likely they are going to recycle their 30 second spots that less people are watching every year in which case they will go the same way as BudTV. They have some great investors behind them with extremely deep pockets like Microsoft, NBC Universal and GE’s Peacock Equity Fund, and advertisers like BMW, Coke, Ebay etc. yet the internet is famous for burning through enormous amounts of money on “big bang” efforts like this. If they don’t get it right out of the gate it will be a losing battle.

firebrand boobs

Adrants has a nice write up on this including some of the hyperbole from Firebrand CEO:

Firebrand CEO Roman Vinoly said, “We program TV spots like a DJ spins music in a club. There is a rhythm and flow to it.” In an attempt to spin Firebrand as something other than a massive database of commercials, Vinoly adds, “On Firebrand, you’ll see more car chases, explosions, gags, drama, heroes, Oscar-winning actors, directors and producers in an hour than in a month of HBO.”

Now I’m actually a huge fan of good commercials check out Ad Critic, TBS’s Very Funny Ads,

BTW I just wen to check out BudTV’s traffic and it turns out my blog is higher rated on Alexa, weird.
experience curve vs budtv

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  1. Posted September 26, 2007 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

    Very well-said. I still personally think it is a famous and fabulous idea, myself, because commercials have been way too ephemeral. At the end of the day, we’re really changed and transformed by the music of our lives and the commercials in out lived much more than anything else. I have great expectations for Firebrand because I, too, am a commercial-lover. And yes, I am also on Team Crayon on this promotion. Even if I wasn’t, I would be into the site. I have spent some time “in” Firebrand and there is a cool “river” channel that allows you to watch and watch and watch and watch — sort of like watching MTV, and before I knew it, 1/2 hour had passed. I loved it, but then again, I am a marketer and love the entire world of ads, commercials, and the like. I do consider them art.

  2. Jonathan Trenn
    Posted September 26, 2007 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

    One thing has to be remembered here…it ain’t just gonna be on TV. It’s also internet and moblile based. So the user experience will be different. It isn’t meant to compete strictly with regular programming. The interactivity part makes it that much more of an effective vehicle for brand interaction.

  3. Posted September 26, 2007 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

    So this is going to be a full on TV channel? I don’t think that was clear to me.

  4. Posted September 26, 2007 at 7:35 pm | Permalink

    OK – I get it Ads as sexy content – cream rises to the top etc etc. I like the concept – but an entire “channel” dedicated to it – not sure – I see it evolving as infotainment – think sexy infomercials. Otherwise – how are they gonna make money? Are they gonna sell ads to sell ads…snark.

  5. Posted September 27, 2007 at 5:20 am | Permalink

    Hey Karl – To answer your TV question, it won’t be a full fledged 24/7 TV channel (at least not at first.) At launch, in addition to running 24/7 and on-demand online, will air five nights a week from 11p-midnight on ION (a cable net that is available in 94 million households.) And thanks for the post. G

  6. Posted September 27, 2007 at 8:12 am | Permalink

    I like the concept of promoting brilliant/entertaining/clever advertising (although they might probably end up showcasing sexy/violent for the sake of buzz). Following the interest that blogs venturing on the same concept trigger, it might actually be a website well worth giving a shot. Hope they’ll manage to share good quality files over there; otherwise, they might probably have a hard time differentiating them from YouTube/Adblogs enough. That certainly teased my curiosity. Thanks for the article.

  7. Posted September 27, 2007 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

    A website for watching tv commercials, now where have I seen that before? Mixed like a DJ, please, just how how out of touch are the team that produced this concept? I am trying to see the upside in all of this and it’s just not clear. Adrants review is right on the money, it will be an industry insider site. What is the market for consumers that are interested in watching 30 minutes of commercials? How long was the brainstorming session on this service, 30 minutes at a bar?

  8. blog dog
    Posted November 12, 2007 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

    FYI – ION Media Networks goes to trial tomorrow in Los Angeles for a
    Federal lawsuit over their alleged trademark infringement. Positive
    Ions Inc. is asking for an injunction against IMN’s continued use of
    ION. Jury trial is expected to last two weeks.

  9. Posted December 20, 2009 at 11:10 am | Permalink

    so i’m gonna test it

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