Today’s Super Bowl extravaganza will feature something like thirty confirmed advertisers, with the lion’s share going to Anheuser-Busch who is expected to air around ten spots, to the tune of $2.6 million per thirty-seconds. Undoubtedly at least a few of those will feature content from A-B’s new online channel, Bud TV, which will debut tomorrow. The site will feature the commercials from the Super Bowl along with original web series such as:
- Afterworld: A science-fiction show, partially animated.
- Blow Shit Up: Just what it sounds like, the audience submits stuff they’d like to see blown to bits.
- Finish Our Film: A spoof of reality shows and a making-of-a-film documentary that will be produced by Matt Damon and Ben Affleck’s production company.
- Futureman: Another science-fiction show, though presumably a comedy.
- Happy Hour: This show will feature up-and-coming and wannabe stand-up comics.
- Ice Vision and Chef: A mockumentary about the attempted comeback of a defrocked superhero.
- Replaced by a Chimp: A comedy in which real people’s jobs are replaced by a monkey.
- Truly Famous: Another spoof of reality and celebrity shows.
- What Girls Want: A female version of “Queer Eye” with a trio of lovelies giving dating advice to some hapless schmo.
Anheuser-Busch is spending a lot of money on it, approximately $30-40 million over the first year of Bud TV. But that’s a drop in the bucket of A-B’s staggering billion dollar plus annual marketing budget, although A-B has also announced they will be reducing the portion of their ad budget usually reserved for network television shows. Still, about $600 million will be spent on more traditional advertising.
Later “channels” on Bud TV reportedly will likely include the following.
- Bud Tube: Consumer-generated video, including homemade ads for Bud or Bud Light.
- Reality Programming: One show is a live version of The Dating Game show from the 1970s aired from bars and restaurants in 25 cities. Another is “Fool’s Gold,” in which contestants can only take as much gold out of the dessert as they can carry and survive, while a half-crazed miner tries to thwart them.
- News: Updates on news and unusual events, designed to give viewers something to chat about over a beer.
- Sports: Sports will be featured in some fashion.
- Hollywood: Celebrity coverage.
You do have to register so they can be assured you’re over 21, which does seem a little weird since the tv commercials at least can be seen by anyone with access to a television. It appears that after inputting your name, birthdate and zipcode that BudTV accesses a database to confirm that information. Mine, for example, didn’t match at first because I’ve moved within the past year and I was then prompted to insert my previous zipcode. I know I lean a little heavily on the paranoia side, but I find it a little troubling that they have at their fingertips the information to confirm my identity and rough age.
Today’s New York Times magazine has an in-depth piece called Brew Tube about the venture.
The Bud TV host greets you and talks you through how to use the website.
Joanna Pena-Bickley says
Anheuser-Busch will spend over $30 million this year on this online video network. The site would be on my top 10 in the usability category if the age verification actually worked.
Continue the conversation at: http://joannapenabickley.typepad.com/on/2007/02/on_budtv.html