DuPont just launched a new series of internet-video ads — stories about science starring Amanda Congdon — that they are placing on blogs. Steve Baker of Business Week writes about it here and Josh Bernoff of Forrester here. Here are the videos with Amanda in a white lab coat, which has to be someone’s fantasy.
Full disclosure: I consulted on the effort. I was brought in because I know the folks at Rishad Tabaccowala’s think-do tank Denou at Publicis. When they started, they wanted to involve bloggers and I insisted that the only was to do that was through advertising on the blogs; it’s a clear relationship and it also gives respect to the medium and its people (I’m happy to see that Bernoff liked this). I introduced them to Amanda (which thrilled them; it was as if I’d snagged Oprah). And I gave some advice on the videos (obvious stuff: put your best stuff first, make them short and fun). And I suggested Bright Cove for the serving and Federated Media as an ad network. And they bought lunch.
I’m glad that we’re seeing internet video and blogs and ad money come together. This is the kind of new thinking you can bring to life in these new media. I will leave it to you to say what you think of the program and the videos:
: LATER: Radar goes after Amanda for shilling while also reporting with ABC. Legit discussion. But it’s not a first; she is making a Dove commercial at Blip and she made commercials for first first sponsors on Rocketboom. There are a bunch of different issues besides the one Radar raises, including how small shops will handle the sponsorship they get (a la Rocketboom).
: LATER STILL: See Amanda’s blog:
ABC and HBO both approved the DuPont spots. And under the “blogger” title, which is what I am, hello? I am not subject to the “rules” traditional journalists have to follow.
Isn’t that what new media is all about? Breaking the rules? Setting our own? I see nothing wrong with doing commercials, which is what they, quite transparently, are. If DuPont had tried to pass them off as authentic, homegrown videos, yeah, then that would’ve been wrong (and, of course, I would never have agreed to the project if that was the plan). . . .
It’s also about acting.
: THURSDAY UPDATE: Here‘s an LA Times story about bloggers in ads out of this.