Looking to tap the public’s interest in commercials, USA Network is leading an NBC Universal initiative that will result in the establishment of a free online archive of current and classic television spots.
Didja.com., eyeing a launch sometime next year before the upfront season, will be home to commercials past and present, as well as an array of ancillary content from extra footage and clips, vignettes and behind-the-scenes materials related to the ads.
Chris McCumber, senior vice president of marketing and brand strategy at USA, said the site’s social networking application will encourage users to rate, vote, comment on and interact with the brands and their commercials. A toolkit will enable users to mash-up their own brand interpretations, tributes and spot parodies.
"People love commercials that are entertaining. We want to take the same approach for commercials that we have to building ancillary content around our original series," said McCumber.
He noted that advertisers will be able to customize their brand experience on Didja.com. by remotely uploading the spots and attendant content through a turnkey interface, through which they will have the option to enable social networking features and set timers to remove fare at a predetermined date. Moreover, they will be able to make additional product information, like long-form spots, coupons and other incentives, available.
"The site will be accessible to everybody, not just NBCU advertisers," McCumber said, adding that he anticipates that agency creative and art directors, as well as actors/actresses involved with spots will want to provide materials to didja.com
The brainchild of former USA executive Lorenzo De Guttadauro, who now serves as vice president of special projects at NBC, the site name plays off the phrase "didja see that commercial," and marks an extension of USA "characters" ethos, which has manifested on the sponsor side as "characters uncovered." To that end, USA has developed materials around Tanqueray fictional spokesman Tony Sinclair, and is ramping up materials that will support the new Maytag repairman and the Keebler Elves.
Opportunities will be leveraged across Universal Motion Picture Group; Universal Television Group, including NBC, USA, Sci Fi, Bravo, CNBC, MSNBC and the emerging networks; Universal Media Studios; NBCU Television Stations; NBCU Digital Media; and iVillage.
McCumber said said didja.com will pursue five to 10 charter advertisers, which would benefit from media packages that would be expressed on-air and online.