Of all the resources available for young men to keep abreast of salient news, events, and trends, Heavy.com has thrown its hat into the ring with "The Heavy Hit List." Competing with the CNNs and Esquires of the world, Heavy's first foray into semi-serious editorial content consists of Top 10 countdowns designed to give guys more informed talking points over their next round of Heineken Premium Light.
"We are providing valuable information for guys in a quick and easy video form," said John Lumpkin, SVP of sales strategy and partnerships at Heavy Corp. "Brands always come and ask us what will resonate with our audience, and this is it."
As one might have guessed, Heineken is sponsoring the debut six-week run of the "Hit List" with its branded skin enveloping the video content. "The nature of the Web allows us to deliver topical social currency in real-time," said Brian Citron, senior brand director for Heineken Premium Light.
With the assistance of Heineken's agency, Modem Media, "Hit List" ties into Heineken Premium Light's current "Share the Good" ad campaign by arming guys with topical information and trends to share with friends.
"The goal of the 'Share The Good' campaign is to increase trials among consumers, and the 'Hit List' encourages them to get together and drink," Lumpkin said.
The episodes were promoted with a video on Heavy's home page and live in the custom Heineken Premium Light channel, which also includes a custom compilation programming feed of music and entertainment programming. On Heavy.com, the "Hit List" is heavily promoted each Thursday, just as viewers are planning their weekend.
The "List" includes viral videos, bands, technology, independent film, and current events. Each episode concludes with a Heineken Premium Light "Share the Good" "moment," encouraging users to share the video with friends. As a result of these efforts and the raw curiosity of Heavy's users, the show has proven a success. Now into its fourth week, the show is a averaging about 750,000 visitors a week, while its peaked in its second week at 1.2 million visitors.
In addition, while average rates for standard IAB image ads are 0.1% and in-stream video ads are 0.74%, the Heineken Premium Light campaign significantly outperformed IAB's figures with a 7.0% click-through rate. For those results, Heineken paid less than $1 million for the six-week run, according to Lumpkin, who is now busy figuring out what brand is best suited to take the place of Heineken.
"We're talking to brands in the entertainment and movie industry," said Lumpkin. "One thing people want to do is to create an event around a new movie or campaign. I think 'Hit List' is perfect for that."
Heavy, which recently announced first-quarter year-over-year revenue growth of 58%, is not unfamiliar to original programming. This summer, for one, the company signed CBSSports.com as a distribution partner for its sports series, "The Burly Sports Show." Heavy's other original programs include "Over the Hills," a parody of MTV's "The Hills," "Flex and the City" a spoof of "Sex and the City," "Superficial Friends," and "Kung Fu Jimmy Chow."