SMOSH Takes First Branded Scripted Live Content To YouTube Space LA

DEFY Media plans to announce Friday that it will take scripted live content to YouTube Space LA, starting with the hit video show SMOSH, staring Anthony Padilla and Ian Hecox. Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company's 5 Gum brand will sponsor the programming. 

SMOSH Live will take a "SNL" style, with several minute sketches in front of a live studio audience at YouTube Space LA, said Andy Tu, CMO at DEFY Media.

"Screen Junkies," a 90-minute show that focuses on movies and television, has been streamed live for a couple of years, but it's not scripted.

The partnership extends the 5 Gum brand’s multiyear marketing efforts around its Truth or Dare campaign, which features on truth and dare challenge inside on each of the foil wrappers.

This is the first time 5 Gum has worked with SMOSH. It aligned with them since "it's about exploring things outside your comfort zone, exploring do I or don't I moments," said John Goetter, senior brand manager, 5 Gum."The Live show challenges us to do just that."

When asked if virtual reality or augmented reality fits into  live content strategy, Goetter said: "The pace in which technology changes is an opportunity to reach consumers in a new way." 

Wrigley, a Mars subsidiary, is giving fans a change this summer to take the challenge and share it on social media along with the hashtags #5truthordare and #vipsweepstakes for a chance to win tickets to the August 26 show.

To spice things up on SMOSH Live, Padilla and Hecox and others will carry out their own dares live during the show.

"Scripts are being written by some amazing writers, and we will begin shooting later this summer," Tu said. "Crowd are a really important step for us, and we'll be recruiting a live audience later this summer."

SMOSH has about 30 million subscribers. They are used to having their content come in through a YouTube feed, so Tu expects it will take time to create awareness around this new live scripted format, similar to back in the day of live soap operas on broadcast TV.

Tu admits live scripted shows cost a little more to produce compared with streaming online video because It requires more technology to make the content appear in the moment.

"We put a lot of eggs in the basket to make sure each moment is perfect; we're not going to go back and edit it," he said. "We'll have entertainment while we change sets, similar to what you see in a live show."

Each live broadcast will have a pre- and post-show sponsored by 5 Gum focused on the Truth or Dare campaign.

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