Could Jerry Seinfeld’s forthcoming series “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee” be a potential gamechanger for online video series’? Here we have one of the biggest stars in TV history moving away from TV for his latest project, and his reputation is such that he’s been able to generate ample press without spending a dime on advertising or promotion, aside from releasing a short trailer yesterday.
“Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee” will launch on July 19 on Sony’s digital-only network, Crackle, and will air on YouTube (though not as its own channel). Neither Sony nor Seinfeld is talking about the arrangement.
As Variety’s Andrew Wallenstein points out, Seinfeld certainly would have gotten more money from distributing the show via TV, but he also would have lost a degree of creative control in working with the major studios. “Surely Seinfeld has gone through enough of that kind of relationship to want to give that up for good,” Wallenstein says.
Also unclear is the role that advertising will play in “Comedians.” Crackle will likely sell the ads in and around the series, but will there also be brand integrations? Given Seinfeld’s previous stints with American Express and Microsoft, and the fact that coffee and cars offer several branded possibilities, you might think so, but Wallenstein doesn’t think integrations will feature because they weren’t present in the promo.
“If that's true, Madison Avenue should be beside itself,” he says. “Here's a comedian who has shown a rare interest and talent in creative collaboration with brands like American Express and Microsoft but for some reason didn't do so here. They could have conceivably bankrolled the entire production themselves, and yet it's possible Seinfeld saw fit to keep them out of the equation.”