Net Tries New Ad Approach

NEW YORK The CW network will offer advertisers the opportunity to buy “content wraps,” which it bills as an innovative way to advertise exclusively in commercial pods within its shows for next season.

Each content wrap consists of a two-minute pod containing a portion of a comic or dramatic story. The vignettes would be structured with a 15-second advertiser-sponsored lead-in, with product integration within the story, possibly an advertiser screen crawl during the story and an advertiser lead-out.

Within a night’s two-hour programming block, three, two-minute content wraps would run for the same advertiser and story. The stories themselves would be created with advertiser participation.

“It will be a collaborative effort,” said Bill Morningstar, director of sales at the CW. “We would come up with stories that have both entertainment value for the viewers and something that can meet advertiser brand objectives.

An example shown during the CW’s upfront presentation was the tale of a couple that undergoes makeovers before going on their first date. (This type of scenario would accommodate paid placements for products that fit in with the makeovers.)

“The advertiser would own the commercial pods and we would work with them to create the content,” Morningstar said.

The CW could benefit if viewers stayed with the network for each show to find out how the short stories are resolved, since stories might run through several pods during different programs on a given night.

Morningstar said his staff has been pitching media agencies on the concept for the past few months and said some deals could be finalized shortly. He said the formats are flexible.

“We are trying to find ways to help advertisers break out of the clutter,” Morningstar said. “We can’t add another commercial pod, so these pods will replace an existing traditional pod that would contain only 30-second spots.”