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E-commerce growth spurred by innovations in social media and synergy

If you thought the days of sponsor men­tions were in the past, guess again. Advertis­ers, such as Warner Brothers and Janome, have found that custom content integration with Next New Networks can successfully reach targeted communities online.

At the core of Next New Networks is online programming. “We’ve found that focusing on great programming that builds strong, passionate audiences is a hard-to-beat formula for attracting advertisers,” said Lance Podell, CEO of Next New Networks.

Each program appeals to a very targeted audience. Where ThreadBanger is popular with the DIY fashion segment, TMI Weekly is aimed at the young, professional woman, and Barely Political is a hit with the political humor crowd.

Podell said this niche approach can yield a greater opportunity. “There is miscon­ception that niche programming implies a small audience — that’s just not true,” he said. “Many niches are rather large.”

From the advertiser point of view, bring­ing together many like-minded viewers is a campaign gold mine.

Kira DeLong, a marketing coordinator at Janome, a Japanese sewing machine manufacturer best known for its high-tech, computerized machines, agrees. One day, a friend sent DeLong a link to a ThreadBanger episode where the hosts happened to be using a Janome machine. A meeting led to a partnership that not only made use of traditional ad units, but incorporated custom content integration online and offline.

“This partnership with ThreadBanger is our first attempt to spread our brand name to the next generation of sewers,” said DeLong.

To reach this new audience, a creative mix was put into effect, which included sponsoring shows and buying banners and bumpers at the end of the show. The sponsorship has extended offline as well: DeLong makes appearances with the ThreadBanger hosts at alternative craft and sewing events to meet fans and listen to their needs. It was this type of interaction that led to the production of a co-branded ThreadBanger Janome sewing machine based on real audience needs.

“Meeting consumers when they are pas­sionate about something is critical to an advertiser’s success,” Podell said.

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