Crackle, the Sony-owned digital network, apparently wanted to make it clear at its NewFronts presentation that it is in the TV business, not an "online content provider" or whatever more unwieldly term that could be used.
Eric Berger, EVP for digital networks and GM at Crackle, said up-top, “You’re going to hear me talk alot about TV today,” and trotted out stats that claim that for 18-34s, over the top viewing is their primary viewing choice, and that 25% of millennials are unreachable through conventional TV.
Crackle, by the way, is calling itself “TV That Strikes A Cord.” Wink, wink.
But just as much time was spent pushing the idea of using Crackle as a one-stop program placement home. There were several examples of existing product promos, most notably for Acura in “Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee.” Acura also announced in time for today’s NewFront that it will back another four years of the Seinfeld vehicle, pun obviously intended.
James Smith svp ad sales, in fact, offered advertisers in the crowd the opportunity to place a product into the first five minutes of the new series, “Throwaways,” a computer hacking based drama that will star Jeremy Renner.
He also offered to arrange product placement for any Crackle advertiser that wants to pursue it. Product placement, Crackle says, works well with Sony because an advertiser can get in at a series’ inception and the placement stays on all the platforms, in syndication, international and DVDs.
Crackle announced several new series, perhaps none as weird or warmly received by the crowd as “Tightrope,” exec produced by “Breaking Bad” star Bryan Cranston, in which an actor, playing a Raymond Chandler-type detective is digitally inserted into a real version of a film noir detective drama. That turns it into a wicked comedy. (If you ever saw Woody Allen's 1966, "What's Up Tiger Lily," you get the idea.) There are even phony product placements,too, for Emperor Condoms. that includes the slogan, “Reach for a condom when you want to get royally screwed.”
John O’Hurley starred in the brief clip Crackle showed, but he’s not currently signed to star in it, Berger said.
Other new titles are “Sequestered,” about a jury deliberating a hot court case and “Sports Jeopardy,” a brand extension for the venerable Sony-owned game show. This weekly version will be hosted by sports personality Dan Patrick, who says he recommend himself as the host after he saw an existing online version of the game.
The video service said it signed a first-look agreement with Spark, part of the Publicis Groupe, that gives the agency and its clients access to inventory across Crackle's distribution network, and access to Crackle research.
Crackle is also returning with additional episodes of “Chosen,” “Playing It Forward” and “Cleaners.”