09 July, 2007

The Winter of Chivas's Web-Content

Poet George Santayana said it best: Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it.

In 1812, Napoleon’s Grande Armee’ invaded Russia with 610,000 troops—in the middle of winter. Within a year, he lost 85% of his men to starvation, disease, and desertion. Fast forward to 1941; in the thick of World War II, the German army makes a move on Moscow with temps already plummeting to -30ºF in an attempt to do what the French were unable to. Result: over 730,000 casualties on the German side.

And then, there’s BudTV.com. Launched in 2006, the online TV channel sponsored by Anheuser-Busch featured branded content, games, original entertainment, longer form commercials, and a potpourri of humorous vignettes. Despite the big expectations, it lost over 100K visitors within its first month and is expected to get the yank by the end of the year.

Now, for the big SAT analogy: The French army in Russia is to BudTV.com as the German army in Russia is to_________.

If you said the Chivas channel, you obviously weren’t in any of my classes at the Junior College of Ceramic Arts and Automobile Sciences. Apparently whiskey brand Chivas isn’t too concerned with history. They’re moving full-speed ahead with their new branded online network dedicated to livin’ large: sailin’ boats, travelin’ abroad, smokin’ see-gars, and drinkin’ scotch. Because, as we all know, the masses want to watch rich people enjoying themselves, right?

Don’t worry, folks. Some seem to think Chivas has a plan to bring in more visitors and avoid the fate that befell Anheuser “Moscow’s balmy in January” Busch. Based on their “state of the art” age verification system, they’ve all but opened their site to an untapped market: underage visitors. If you’re old enough to outsmart a pull-down menu, you’re old enough to live it up online with Chivas:

While not Fort Knox by any stretch, BudTV at least gave it the old college try in its efforts to deter minors, utilizing software that required info directly from an ID.

In my opinion, Chivas’s relaxed age verification system is of little consequence, though. Honestly, how many kids are going to be clamoring to watch videos that range from learning the bagpipes to enjoying foreign cuisine? Hell, I’m 30 and I’d rather mow my neighbor’s lawn than watch video of an investment banker sunning himself on a pontoon boat off the coast of Morocco.
Minors or not, the Chivas channel has an uphill climb; its online features are geared to a narrow demographic: the young and affluent. BudTV’s content appealed to a much wider audience, and still couldn’t bring in the numbers it needed to stay afloat. At least, that’s what I’ve heard, anyway; I never did get around to visiting it.

-M.M. McDermott, Senior Copywriter

The Winter of Chivas's Web-ContentSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

0 others 'fessed up:

The Renegade Agency Confessional - Blogged

  © Blogger templates The Professional Template by Ourblogtemplates.com 2008

Back to TOP