Vice Media, which started its foray into television with grisly documentaries produced for MTV2 almost a decade ago, is well on its way to being the first digital media company to launch its own cable television channel.
Although marketers shied away from their programming on MTV2, corporate advertisers are back in droves in hopes of gaining a foothold with a younger generation that has been raised in an almost ad-free zone due to DVR, Netflix and ad-blocking software.
Getting in on the action.
Companies like Unilever PLC, Bank of America, MailChimp, Samsung, T-Mobile and Toyota are eager to jump on board with Vice Media this time around. Vice is planning something wholly different for media buying agencies. Instead of focusing on traditional advertising in the glut amount that cable companies now air, Vice pledges to only air about half: just nine minutes’ worth of commercials per hour. The budget deficit will be made up of a form of native advertising designed to look like editorial content.
What Advertising Will Look Like on Viceland
Many brands are still in the planning stages of just how to pull off a different sort of ad for a different sort of cable company, but names like Bank of America that are already used to doing business with Vice Media on the web, are busy updating web spots for the television screen. Bank of America intends to update its “Business of Life” series, which explored financial topics for young adults (including the hotly debated question, “Why is college so expensive?”) and use it as a branding tool on the network.
Another non-traditional commercial set to air features a Vice employee discussing a digital ad campaign she designed for Unilever’s TRESemmé hair product line. MailChimp intends to run a spot consisting of an interview by Vice of a local business owner who uses the email marketing service.
Although different and potentially edgy, not everyone is certain that their foray into Viceland is going to be a big hit with the audience they’re trying desperately to reach. To ease these advertisers’ minds, Vice has asked Nielsen to keep any ratings data private for the first six months of the channel’s run to allow experimentation without media scrutiny. Nielsen approved the request.