Thursday, September 11, 2008

First Look: Google Content + Seth McFarlane + BK

Straight from techcrunch: First mentioned a few months ago as a way for Google to increase its video revenue and start its push for more professional content, Seth MacFarlane’s Cavalcade of Cartoon Comedy promised 50 mini-webisodes specifically designed for Google’s Content Network and AdSense distribution. And now, the video series has launched on its own site,

The premise is simple: MacFarlane will create 50 shows for Google and illustrate pre-roll ads in his signature style. So far, there are two videos available on the site, which are also available on the “BK Channel” page on YouTube. The advertisements included in the shows are exclusively from Burger King (thus the BK Channel syndication) and there’s no word if that will change in subsequent episodes.

The Cavalcade videos can be embedded anywhere on the Web and when a user clicks on the video, the advertiser will pay a fee that’s shared by MacFarlane, Google, the production company, and the site or blog hosting the video. In essence, Google is trying to encourage the proliferation of the videos by bringing all parties in on the advertising revenue.

And perhaps that’s the most interesting part of the deal. Will this work? The only way for Google to see MacFarlane’s Cavalcade return a positive ROI is if enough people watch the videos and advertisers are willing to promote their products within the shows. So far, it has the advertiser in place, but whether or not anyone wants to watch these videos is still in doubt. Creating an incentive for publishers to embed the video is a smart move, but we can’t forget that this is a calculated risk that could force Google back to the drawing board.

Annoying that it autoplays.


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