AOL is doubling down on soccer moms.
Just a few weeks before the portal lays out its new slate of video series to media buyers at the Digital Content NewFronts, AOL is debuting Season 2 of Little Women, Big Cars, one of the shows it touted during last year’s NewFronts session.
The Vuguru-produced series returns with 19 new episodes today. The first season's 17 episodes have generated 6 million views to date, buoyed by a quick burst of several million views during the show’s first few weeks online last spring.
Little Women stars a host of familiar actors from the TV and movie world, including Amy Yasbeck (Wings), Julie Warner (Tommy Boy), Kristy Swanson (Buffy the Vampire Slayer) and Antonio Sabato Jr. The sitcom-esque show features a group of women tackling parenting, marriage and the challenges of an overscheduled suburban life.
According to Vuguru CEO Larry Tanz, “We had a really successful Season 1, with lots of positive comments from viewers like ‘When’s the next one coming?’ So we decided to amp it up.”
The show’s being amped up this year courtesy of a new advertisers. While Season 1 featured pre-roll ads from various brands, based on screeners Adweek has viewed, Allstate has signed on as an exclusive sponsor, complete with an elaborate brand integration. A new character in Season 2 is an insurance agent, and the brand name is uttered by characters on multiple occasions.
Little Women Big Cars is available on AOL’s Parenting channel, YouTube, Roku, Boxee and multiple mom-oriented sites across the Web. As with Season 1, AOL is putting all 19 episodes online at once, allowing viewers to binge. But the company will also promote individual episodes as the weeks go on, trying to drive new viewership while reminding existing fans.
“When thinking about our consumers, they want to watch as much as they can,” said Karen Cahn, the head of AOL's original programming. She noted that last year, the average Little Women fan watched four to five episodes per session. “We could put up episodes once a week, but it’s harder to drive appointment viewing on the Web," she said. "They just won’t come back. They want to binge.”
Added Tanz: “You want to reward fans, not punish them by making them wait.”