Television advertisers may be thinking in a radically different way about the internet, and teen idol Justin Bieber is the proof.
In the weeks leading up to the Friday release of his first movie Never Say Never, Bieber has been on a whirlwind media tour with stops ranging from talk shows to SNL, where he made the beloved Church Lady’s “lady parts tingle.”
SNL and The Daily Show may seem like odd choices for Bieber, and Bieber just as odd of a choice for them. But it may not have been Bieber who got the most mileage out of his various appearances. The young YouTube sensation, whose videos have garnered more than 288 million viewers, brought those same viewers to sites, along with advertising opportunities.
The reason that The Daily Show, SNL, and even Best Buy surprised viewers with unannounced appearances from the pop star was because their real aim was to attract online hits, rather than real-time viewers. Bieber’s fanbase certainly isn’t the type to be up past midnight or tune in to the Superbowl. This is a new development in the world of television, which normally dreads the internet for its ability to cut into profits.
By embracing an internet celebrity, advertisers are embracing a two-for-the-price-of-one strategy. By bringing Bieber on for something other than an interview, they got a viral video along with a few good jokes for their regular viewers. This strategy is similar to the ‘webisodes’ targeted at the fans of The Office and other prime-time sitcoms. Except in this case, the bonus comes without the cost of new material and with the benefits of a new demographic.
Advertisers for The Daily Show’s website such as Toyota and Tosh.0, another YouTube star, got to place their ads in front of an opening monologue that featured the teen heartthrob dressed in a suit and tie. The episode was ‘liked’ by three times the number of people that liked any other episode that week. Videos of his SNL performance had a similar boost to their ratings.
Because most of the hits came from young girls, a favorite target of certain advertisers, the programs that hosted Bieber may be able to earn their money back and more.