Yes, I'm about 5 days behind making this post, but other things caught my attention and I do have one full time jobs and a couple of side things that keeps me busy (BTW - that's why I don't consider myself a full-time blogger). Anyway, the NYTimes had an article called MySpace Mini-Episodes, Courtesy of Honda and I went through the entire article and test drove the TJ Hooker episode and I think this is an absolutely wonderful idea. Here's the basic idea:
- Take a bunch of 70s/80s reruns like Charlie Angels, TJ Hooker, etc and edit them down to 4-6 minutes to be shown on the screen.
- Each episode is carefully edited to keep the plot together all while making sure you get the general gist of the show
- Stick an 8 second pre-roll commercial in front of the episode solely sponsored by Honda
- And, bingo you have webified TV shows built for today's attention deficit disorder crowd of the internet
Seriously, it is brilliant. I can't really see it hurting DVD sales and to be blunt it may even help. How many of you are going to run out and buy the Facts of Life in DVD? (Did anyone else have a crush on Nancy McKeon besides myself while in school?) Plus it introduces these shows to a generation that will never see them because they've probably outlived their TV syndication usefulness .
I watched the TJ Hooker episode and you could definitely get a feel for the show and the plot. That is, bad guy on the loose, James T Kirk chases him but fails at first, Heather Locklear make it look easy being sexy, and then Kirk fights the villain and wins in the end rescuing his partner. It was enjoyable, fast watching, virtually commercial free, and looked great on the little screen.
The only concerns I might have is limiting it to MySpace only for now and how Honda will judge success. The sponsorship for now is 6 figures and as the article mentions, Honda is trying to sell the Honda Fit. Also found in the NY Times article is this "Lauren Mehl, associate media director at RPA in Santa Monica, Calif., said the agency would evaluate the subsequent sponsorship opportunities based on how the commercials perform their run on MySpace."
I wonder what Honda will deem success. It fits in with their positioning of their car, but other than boosting awareness and visits to the site, I think they'll have a hard time proving car sales are being generated from these ads, but maybe they have some other measurements.
This is clearly a homerun product and besides being available on the web, you can bet the format will find a home on your cell phone in the future as well as other online properties. Hopefully, more studios will follow the lead.