Creativity 50 2011: Will Arnett and Jason Bateman

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Denny's skipped the Super Bowl this year and with new agency partner, New York's Gotham, launched a series of webisodes starring some of Hollywood's best-known comedic talent -- Jason Bateman and Will Arnett.

The pair, along with Ben Silverman's IAC-owned Electus, are behind brand content venture DumbDumb. For them, it's an outlet for creative storytelling, where brands provide a means to explore new content initiatives, a creative structure and starting point. Mr. Bateman compares the process to improv.

"I'm a big fan of commercials and the comedic shorts being done at places like College Humor and Funny or Die," said Mr. Bateman, who also repped as a commercials director out of HSI Productions. "We thought there was a good marriage to be made between advertising and those shorts."

The Denny's project, a collaboration between DumbDumb, Electus, Gotham and IPG branded-content unit Ensemble, features comedian and actor Dave Koechner interviewing subjects such as Sarah Silverman and Amy Poehler. The DumbDumb team fashioned 3- to 4-minute segments out of 30 to 45 minutes of unscripted banter over real Denny's food in a real Denny's. The series retains the edge expected from the talent involved (i.e., there is talk of anal warts and undiagnosed manic depression) and, somehow, it sort of makes us want to eat at Denny's.

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