Facebook, TBS Team Up to Distribute Branded Videos

Despite an SEC investigation over its IPO and a falling stock price -- or perhaps even spurred on by these current events -- Facebook on Wednesday unveiled a new ad distribution agreement with TBS and its branded content partner, DumbDumb, that will see the social network distribute branded entertainment videos on its site, while TBS will distribute the same videos across its TV and digital properties.

According to Ad Age, Facebook has never packaged its inventory with a TV network before, although it will continue to sell its own inventory separately.

The content that Facebook and Turner will be promoting is produced by DumbDumb, which has worked with such brands as Old Navy, Orbit and most notably, Denny’s, for the unscripted series “Always Open,” which is filmed in a Denny’s booth. DumbDumb is a digital production company started by actors Will Arnett and Jason Bateman that is backed by Ben Silverman’s multimedia studio, Electus, which is a division of IAC.

As we previously noted here, DumbDumb signed a deal with TBS to produce up to six three- to-five-minute branded videos featuring actors and comedians in DumbDumb’s “stable of stars” (like Will Forte, Amy Poehler, Arnett, Bateman, and others). Brands can choose to have their videos promoted through Turner’s digital properties, TV ads shown on programs like “Conan” or “Family Guy,” and now, Facebook, too. 

TBS has yet to sign an advertiser for one of these DumbDumb-produced branded videos since announcing the partnership shortly before its upfront last week.

Carolyn Everson, Facebook’s VP of Global Marketing Solutions, tells Ad Age that Facebook’s main role is to draw on its massive reach and targeting capabilities to gain visibility for these videos. Fans of the brand and fans of DumbDumb’s actors will be targeted, along with others that demonstrate some kind of affinity for either brand or content.

Everson did not comment on how the ad packages would be structured, but she did say that “sponsored stories” --  which are ads that tell users when their friends have liked or engaged with a piece of branded content -- would likely be used, along with an embedded video.  

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