Something will be missing from tonight's 11:30 p.m. episode of Family Guy on Adult Swim: multiple advertisers.
Instead, the show's commercial pod will be sponsored by a single brand, Cricket Wireless, as part of Turner's new "Beyond the :30" sponsorship platform, which launches tonight. As the launch partner, Cricket will occupy the entire two-minute, 30-second commercial pod, which will feature the brand in a combination of ads, branded content and other integrations.
That will be the only commercial pod that runs during the Family Guy episode; a second pod, which airs after program's completion, is not included in the partnership.
The platform debuts during tonight's 11:30 p.m. episode and will also air at the same time during the next three Mondays, ending on Dec. 21. (The 11 p.m. episode of Family Guy will have the usual pods, with multiple advertisers.)
The "Beyond the :30" sponsorship includes a 10-second Cricket Wireless billboard, which will lead into the episode. Cricket's logo will replace the Adult Swim on-air bug for half of the episode.
During the pod, Cricket will first appear in a 10-second InstaVine, which is branded content created by Adult Swim. That will be followed by a 90-second branded content piece, created and produced by Adult Swim.
Next up is a 30-second Cricket Wireless ad. Finally, the pod concludes with a 15-second custom bump which transitions back to Family Guy programming. (That bump will be absent from tonight's telecast but will appear during the subsequent three Monday 11:30 p.m. broadcasts.)
"We are committed to leading the industry in producing the best possible video experience for our consumers and our advertising partners," said Donna Speciale, president of Turner Ad Sales, in a statement. "As a go-to destination for millennial audiences with a distinct voice and expectation about their viewing experience, we're able to create an immersive space where storytelling won't stop at the commercial break."
"The Cricket brand is vibrant, youthful and animated, like Adult Swim content," said Janna Ducich, Cricket Wireless' CMO, in a statement. "To complement that synergy, our value proposition is attractive to cost-conscious millennials who are passionate fans of the network and also value authenticity from brands. 'Beyond the :30' infuses relevance and genuineness into our advertising in fun, cool and exciting ways. We innovate through simplicity at Cricket and we also want to be part of innovation in how companies talk to consumers."
Adult Swim created a co-branded digital site, adultswim.com/cricket, which launched today, to host the branded content. The "Beyond the :30" promotion also includes sponsorship of the Adult Swim app from Dec. 1 through Dec. 15, and sponsorship of the Adult Swim mobile games from Dec. 7 through Dec. 20.
Turner's Emerging Consumers division, which handles ad sales for Adult Swim, Cartoon Network and truTV, will provide Cricket with a custom study (conducted by MediaScience) that will assess brand awareness and metrics resulting from the partnership, as well as viewer engagement and visual attention to the ad.
Adult Swim said it will create content for other branded partners in the coming months.
This is Turner Ad Sales' latest experiment to shake up traditional linear advertising. Last month, truTV announced it would be dropping up to nine minutes of ads per hour next fall.