Wednesday, 27 June 2007

Has Diggnation uncovered the secret to successful IPTV advertising?

For anyone who has ever watched Diggnation (the IPTV show comprising of Kevin Rose and Alex Albrecht sitting on a couch staring at their laptops talking about the most popular stories on Digg in the past week) there is no doubt that had they pitched this to a network executive they would have been shown the door in the first 5 minutes. But each week 250 thousand people download the show and for the advertising pioneers who have loaded up the wagons and taken their ad spend over to Digg land, they are getting far more than they bargained for.

Diggnation offer their sponsors an advertising system that would send shivers down the spine of most media buyers. The ads all appear in one block at the end of the show, presented by the hosts themselves in a loosely scripted manner with no guarantee that the brand message will be concisely articulated and they employ no flashy CGI or smooth as silk voice overs. So what's the advantage for companies like to GoDaddy advertise with them? Unlike traditional commercials people actually watch them! Not only do viewers stick around to watch the 2 hosts bumble though their sponsorship announcements (which are usually just as entertaining as the rest of the show) their is also a feeling of obligation from the viewer to support the company that supports the show. Digg watchers are no doubt aware of how difficult it is for net cast shows like this get sponsorship and the more Rose and Albrecht position themselves as "the little guys" of broadcast television the more their viewers feel like helping them out in any way they can. If this means checking out the sponsors website or mentioning their name here and there then so be it. After all "any friend of Diggnation is a friend of mine".

So is it worth it for the advertisers? definitely. They may be tapping into a smaller audience than a 30second ad spot during prime time, but they can be sure that the viewers will watch the ad, pay attention to the offering and given the opportunity support the company that's supporting the show they love.

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