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FYI 07.03.08

BlackBerry Sponsors 'Daily Show,' 'Colbert' Online

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If you've spent less time than normal lately watching ads before your "Daily Show" or "Colbert Report" clips online, you have BlackBerry to thank in part.
Jon Stewart

The mobile marketer is one of several advertisers to sign on as a custom sponsor of Comedy Central's "The Daily Show With Jon Stewart" and "The Colbert Report" full-episode online players, with billboard ads as short as five seconds helping cut the lead time for Stewart and Colbert fans watching their favorite clips. Other online sponsors include Sony Pictures Entertainment's "Hancock," Sonic and Bud Light.

But unique to BlackBerry's 10-month sponsorship deal is a promotional spot custom-created from MTV Networks Entertainment Group reminding viewers they can watch entire episodes of "Daily Show" and eventually "Colbert" from the full archives online. BlackBerry liked Comedy Central's ad so much it swapped out its own media for the custom ad, and recently added an on-air component to the deal, marking a rare foray into TV advertising.

"Their messaging at the moment is about connecting people with the things they love. It's easy to look at 'Daily Show' and 'Colbert' as things people have a true passion for," said Erik Flannigan, exec VP-digital media, MTV Networks Entertainment. "Putting full episodes online is making full episodes all the more accessible to all audiences members of all types."

The Colbert archive will be the latest in a recent string of aggressive digital distribution from Mr. Flannigan's group, following the integration of iFilm.com into Spike.com in May and last week's relaunch of Atom.com as a "punk label" to Comedy Central. -- Andrew Hampp
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