MySpace Launches Scripted Series

NEW YORK MySpace today launches its first scripted series, “Roommates,” developed in tandem with Iron Sink Media, a Los Angeles-based entertainment company. The 2008 Ford Focus is the title sponsor.

“While long-form content has a place online, most of our content is short form. So, we’ve taken lessons from other serialized content and set the average Webisode at about three minutes,” said Jeff Berman, gm of MySpaceTV. The series is available on the MySpace home page.

The show follows a group of eight former college roommates after graduation. Four of the characters—Peyton, Violet, Heather and Sigourney—move to Los Angeles and end up on a reality show similar to MTV’s The Real World. The other four enter the working world but stay connected through video blogs.

MySpace users can interact with the characters through their site profiles and even influence the arc of the show.

In terms of Ford’s presence, Berman said, “We’re trying to do this in a way that is organic and natural. If you graduate from college and move out to L.A., you’ve got to be driving. That’s a natural integration.”

Additionally, Ford has placement on the home page and will have a short bumper before each episode.

Usha Raghavachari, car and crossover communications manager at Ford, said, “We’ve examined closely where we need to be and what we need to be saying to attract a younger audience. We knew we needed to be speaking a different language,” she said.

Ford is seeking to attract the just-under-30 demographic to the new Focus, which features high-tech trappings like voice-activated iPod controls, she said.

“This is a really interesting opportunity both for users and for advertisers. With the increasing fragmentation of media, this is a pretty exciting way to reach people,” said Berman.