Funny or Die, The Daily, The Onion Bring Humor to NewFront
Funny business was big business tonight as IAB (the Interactive Advertising Bureau) hosted a joint newfront presentation for Funny or Die, The Daily, and The Onion.
Funny or Die led off the event, showcasing two projects that it would like to make happen, providing it finds brand support. The first is a four-event tour called LOLapaLOLza: The Funny or Die Music and Comedy Series. The events would pair comedians and bands who admire each other's work in surprise one-day-only joint appearances. Funny or Die's vice president of branded entertainment, Chris Bruss, highlighted potential sponsor tie-ins with ticket distribution and event streaming.
The second project is Funny or Die Presents: Don Cheadle Is..., a three-part series that would take one of the site's favorite A-list actors and have him create beloved characters from people's memories.
"He wants to do something big and he wants to do something where he works with a brand," said Bruss.
Funny or Die highlighted other upcoming projects, such as the second season of Funny or Die TV show "Billy on the Street," and a partnership with theater marketing company NCM to create branded videos that will show before features in 19,000 movie theaters nationwide,
Tablet magazine The Daily was next. While it's not a humor publication, it has some funny projects in the works, including a video news show hosted by puppets (the picture at right shows puppets Rock Hammer and Lester Lester Jr., along with their human helpers Rick Lyon and Frankie Cordero) and a series that puts host Justin Rocket Silverman in odd situations. Publisher Greg Clayman announced that an iPhone version of The Daily would be available soon.
The Onion took the anchor spot and had the audience laughing with a variety of fake news clips. Besides highlighting existing video properties that they want to expand, Will Graham, executive producer and director of The Onion News Network, and Matt McDonagh, national sales director, showed off "super secret new Onion ideas" for upcoming shows. These included "The Night Spot," a parody of late night talk shows, where the host is based on "the subtle feeling of self-hatred you get when you watch Jay Leno," and "Pop Smear," a parody of TMZ where celebrities are not only reported on, but chased and assaulted. The Onion is also planning a parody of "The View" called "The Gab" and a "Meet the Press"-style show built around recurring news pundit and fan favorite Duncan Birch.
In a move to make the growing newfront season more inclusive, IAB is taking over from Digitas.
The big networks generate buzz each year with their fall TV season announcements. Online video publishers like Streamin' Garage and MyDamnChannel are of two minds as to whether it's time for OTT to do the same.
New York will host 19 events in 2 weeks, where content creators announce upcoming online shows to the ad community.
The continued success of Funny or Die—the site launched by Will Ferrell and Adam McKay's "The Landlord"—is a shining example of marrying the best of Hollywood to the best of Silicon Valley.