'Conchords' viral via HBO


In a rare move, HBO used the Internet this week not only to debut an upcoming TV series but also for the first time to allow viewers to spread its pilot episode virally across the Web.

Through a partnership with interactive ad agency Deep Focus, the Time Warner subsidiary launched an online marketing campaign centered on the new comedy series "Flight of the Conchords" that allows viewers to access it on a number of video-sharing sites and to embed the pilot episode on blogs, Web sites and social-networking profiles.

"We're really proud of the show and the strategy given the primary targeted audience of young adults," said Courteney Monroe, senior vp consumer marketing at HBO. "We wanted to get it in as many hands as possible."

Although the campaign initially launched Tuesday with promotion throughout the MySpace network and the episode featured on the "Conchords" MySpace page, the user experience will extend with consumers directed to HBO's site for an embed code letting them re-post it on other sites.

Besides MySpace, online partners in the sharing and distribution of the show include iTunes, Yahoo TV, MeeVee, iFilm, Superdeluxe, Blip TV, Movielink and broadband sites Comcast.net and Roadrunner.com.

Produced by Jemaine Clement, Bret McKenzie, James Bobin, Troy Miller and Stu Smiley, "Conchords" centers on the adventures of a music comedy duo transplanted from New Zealand to New York's Lower East Side.