Media companies have struggled to find a way to turn a series of Web shorts into a success. NBCUniversal's digital studio has renewed a series backed by American Family Insurance that features heavy brand integration and a story revolving around a fictional agent for a third season.
NBC said the renewal of "In Gayle We Trust" marks the first time a network digital series has made it to a third season. The series was launched in 2009.
The comedic series focuses on an American Family agent, "Gayle Evans," in the fictional town of Maple Grove, where she is sort of a de facto town maypole as a counselor and adviser for residents. NBC says the series has drawn 24 million "qualified views."
The series is available on ingaylewetrust.com. The NBC digital studio's business model ensures profitability from the starting line as it lines up funding from brands before moving forward with production.
"Branded content has played a key role in our marketing strategy for the last two years and has proven a successful tactic in reaching and engaging with our consumer base," stated Telisa Yancy, advertising director at American Family.