'Big Shot' series makes brands feel important


In the latest episode of Madison Road's online talent search series "Big Shot Live," the winner of the previous week's comedy competition auditioned for talent scout Mike August on a Southwest Airlines flight to Las Vegas in front of passengers, then was told that he would open for Carrot Top at the Luxor.

It was the latest brand integration for Southwest, which also is featured in the opening sequence of the show and buys ads on the site. Following the model of TV integrations, "Big Shot Live" also has partnered with DSW, Ford and Classmates.com for in-show integrations and ad buys since it launched last month.

"We realized early on that we had this incredible ability, not unlike television, to create some integrated moments that could be really high-impact for the advertisers," Madison Road managing partner Jak Severson said, "because next to the player window are the panel advertisements that can be tied to that integration, and the integrations are fairly natural."

Severson said "Big Shot Live" gets more than 500,000 page views a day. The show is co-produced by Madison Road and James Bruce Prods.