Crispin Porter + Bogusky and Plum TV are launching their first co-production over Thanksgiving Day weekend, Mr. Internet, a 30-minute show hosted by vp, group creative director Dave Schiff that aims to be the Talk Soup of Web culture.
"The idea for this show is based on the notion that pop culture doesn't necessarily happen on TV anymore," says Schiff, the heavily tattooed creative director behind the agency's Coke Zero work. "It doesn't feel like the Petri dish it once was. That's now happening on the Internet."
The segments run the gamut from informational discussions about how to find relevant content on the Internet using tools such as StumbleUpon to a discussion about Web-made celebrity with Wired cover girl Julia Allison and the controversial online hunting site set up by Texas hunter John Lockwood that has been reinvented as a venue where users can shoot paintballs at live targets like girls in bikinis rather than bullets at live animals.
"Some of the segments are functional, some are silly, some make no sense at all," said Schiff, who was cast after a stand-in during testing demonstrated he had a knack for the role of host. "It's the coolest, craziest stuff on the Web."
Produced in-house at a small studio near the agency's Boulder, Colo.-office, the show mimics Web communication with guests appearing in chat windows rather than in a studio beside Schiff. "We tried to present the show in the visual language of the Internet," said Schiff, who says the format also keeps the production simple, with guests sent laptops to participate in the show and conversations conducted via the Web.
The 24-hour TV and Internet network of local channels serving upscale resort communities is the "perfect" for the Plum audience, said Chris Glowacki, CEO of Plum TV. The agency and Plum had discussed other client-driven opportunities in the past that did not come to fruition and decided to collaborate on Mr. Internet, which does not have an advertiser attached at this time.
"Crispin Porter are very clever," said Glowacki. "They don't presume the lowest common denominator and that works really well with our sophisticated audience."
The average target of Plum TV, which broadcasts in Nantucket, Martha's Vineyard, the Hamptons, Aspen, Vail, Telluride, Sun Valley and Miami Beach, is about 43 and has an income of $600,000, said Glowacki.
"We are looking to effectively reach very affluent consumers," said Glowacki. "This is a smart, fun, pop culture show. It's not a show about rich people."