Facebook made waves at DigitasLBi's presentation during the Digital Content NewFronts today without even taking stage. The ad agency unveiled a program called Rise and Shine, a livestreamed morning "feed show" on Facebook that will include local weather, exercise workouts, recipes and more.
The sponsored shows will air three to five times a week and appear on a brand's Facebook page, in the news feed as well as in Facebook Messenger. In terms of the latter channel, Facebook users will be invited to subscribe to a Rise and Shine messaging bot, which will alert them when new content from the program becomes available on demand. In a statement, the companies described the initiative as a "a deconstructed morning talk show…built-for-feed, audience-first branded programming."
"It will appear in those morning wake-up hours where you are getting up, you could use a little [content] to get you going," Keenan Pridmore, head of Facebook's Creative Shop Studio, told Adweek. "Something to get you laughing, smiling, thinking."
After an episode's livestream, it will be logged as regular video the brand can continue to leverage.
DigitasLBi will handle the show's talent and programming in addition to finding sponsors. Its NewFronts pitch, which took place today in New York's West Village in front of more than 250 attendees, was partially designed to lure brands to Rise and Shine. The agency and purchasing marketers will select who appears on the show as well as its content.
London-based DigitasLBi and its clients will own the content, which will be customized according to the brand's needs. Scott Donaton, chief content officer at DigitasLBi North America, said he doesn't think the advertisers will be limited to the usual, morning-program suspects, such as orange juice, coffee and cereal marketers.
"And the show is going to be shapeable by whatever brand gets involved," Donaton said. "There's no preconceived notion. It's going to be about building the show contextually."
The partnership appears to mesh well with DigitasLBi's current focus on content-based marketing as opposed to interruption-style advertising.
"There's a mandate to think about building content that has a lot of value for, of course, brands but also people," Pridmore said, addressing the genesis of the project. "How can we drive entertainment and utility through in a way that develops value for all the parties?"
Whether Rise and Shine proves successful or not will be watched closely by the ad industry.
Meanwhile, Facebook is looking to grow its original video programming—especially since it recently launched its livestreaming platform, Facebook Live.