Wrigley?s Altoids first sponsor of Fox mobile TV show
Fox Mobile Studios has developed ?Brainstorm,? a scripted comedy series for mobile and online platforms that revolves around Altoids, ?The Curiously Strong Mints.?
In creating the eight-episode Brainstorm series, FMS set out to go beyond cursory brand integration and creatively embedded Altoids as an integral, organic plot element. In an age when consumers are accustomed to product placements and branded content, Fox is seeking a new kind of brand integration that is entertaining for consumers and creates brand-affinity for Altoids.
?The strategy was to take a real brand that already possesses an edgy quality and work them into the context of a show about advertising,? said Michael Wallen, vice president and creative director at Fox Mobile Studios, Beverly Hills, CA.
"Early on in discussion with Wrigley, Fox had identified Altoids as the perfect brand for this opportunity because of its history as a young, hip brand, for example its ?curiously strong? campaign,? he said.
The target demographic of the comedy series is 15-34-year-olds, fans of shows like "The Office" and "30 Rock."
The Wm. Wrigley Jr. Co. is a subsidiary of Mars Inc. specializing in confections such as gum, mints, hard and chewy candies, lollipops and chocolate.
Three of these brands?Wrigley's Spearmint, Juicy Fruit and Altoids?have been around for more than a century.
Its other brands include Doublemint, Life Savers, Skittles, Big Red, Winterfresh, Extra, Starburst and Orbit.
A division of News Corp.?s Fox Entertainment Group, Fox Mobile Group specializes in mobile content distribution, production and services, offering mobile entertainment to consumers and business partners.
Fox Mobile Group includes Fox Mobile Distribution and Fox Mobile Studios.
This is Fox Mobile Studios? first branded-entertainment endeavor.
Fox Mobile Studios formed a relationship with Omelet, a hybrid creative and entertainment agency, to produce Brainstorm, which offers a comedic look inside the fast-paced, controversial and sometimes ridiculous world of advertising.
Omelet was specifically brought in as a production entity with advertising/marketing experience.
?When we decided to do a show about advertising, we had many choices for production partners,? Mr. Wallen said. ?Ultimately, we decided on an agency that has experience working on projects for brands and entertainment companies alike.?
The series was created as a stand-alone concept that incorporates Altoids branding with the goal of not being intrusive to viewers.
The key is to proactively offer consumers quality content rather than waiting for them to discover the Altoids brand, according to Wrigley U.S. Gum and Mints.
The aim is to get viral word-of-mouth distribution for the series.
All eight original Brainstorm episodes will premiere in their entirety on Mon., Sept. 28.
The series will be available on-deck with Sprint, on certain Nokia phones and through the Jamba/Jamster distribution channels.
Fox will run an online promotion with DailyMotion.com including banner ads, page takeovers and pre-roll video ads.
FMS also created Facebook pages for several of the characters in the Brainstorm series, Twitter accounts and activity by several characters in the series, as well as other social-networking applications.
The episodes will also be available on the following sites: MySpace, Video.Yahoo.com, YouTube, Veoh.com, Gmail, Blip.tv, Break, Ebaumsworld, Howcast.com, Imeem, Metacafe, Sevenload.com, Stupidvideos.com, Viddler.com and Vimeo.
No TV or mobile advertising is planned for the series, although FMS will be running SMS campaigns for Brainstorm asking consumers to text a keyword in to a short code. In response, Fox will deliver video and personalization content that centers around Brainstorm.
?Many companies know that mobile is playing a larger part of consumers? lives and because of that they are including mobile as an essential part of their marketing campaigns,? Mr. Wallen said.
?FMG?s studio production unit creates innovative, original programming for major brand partners that is optimized for multiple platforms, including mobile, which subsequently is leveraged through its distribution channels to get content to consumers around the world,? he said.