Commercials serious business at Firebrand

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NEW YORK-- Microsoft, NBC Universal, GE's Peacock Equity Fund and ION Television have invested in Firebrand, a multiplatform destination for TV commercials set to launch next month.

Firebrand's programming, dubbed "Commercials as Content," will launch on Oct. 22. It will be available on weeknights at 11 p.m. on ION, online at FirebrandTV.com, USAnetwork.com and Adweek.com, and on mobile devices, initially, through Apple's iTunes and via MSN, "when available."

Firebrand was co-founded by CEO John A. Lack, one of the creators of MTV. It has targeted the "millennial" or Generation Y group as its target demographic and it compared its programming to "the way MTV used to program music videos."

"Firebrand takes the traditional method of programming television commercials and turns it on its head," said co-founder and COO Roman Vinoly. "We program spots like a DJ spins music in a club."

The site also will feature tools so that users can build their own commercial playlists; it also will have capabilities for marketers to see how their commercial was received.

The service also has investments from trade magazines Adweek, Brandweek and Mediaweek, all owned by the Nielsen Co., parent company of The Hollywood Reporter.
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