NEW YORK, NY -- (Marketwired) -- 04/29/14 -- AOL Inc. announced that DigitasLBi has purchased the exclusive advertising rights to two of the sixteen shows that debuted at the company's Digital Content NewFront event in Brooklyn this evening. In a first-mover deal, Sprint will be the exclusive, premiere sponsor of "Connected," AOL's first long-form documentary series, which will center around the self-filmed lives of five New Yorkers. DigitasLBi also purchased the rights to "My Hero," in which Zoe Saldana will star and serve as executive producer. The series will feature celebrities paying a surprise tribute to one person who has changed their lives.
For the second year in a row, DigitasLBi is a first-mover in the space, partnering with AOL immediately following the company's NewFront event. At AOL's 2013 Digital Content NewFront, an agency group led by Razorfish with fellow Publicis Groupe agency network DigitasLBi purchased the AOL On Business channel, which included two originals: "Acting Disruptive" and "Funded."
"One of the most frequently discussed topics around the NewFronts every year is the idea that video inventory is not scarce, and this is true if advertisers don't care about content and quality storytelling," says Charles Gabriel, SVP of Global Video Sales at AOL. "But premium video content is scarce, and in partnering with DigitasLBi, we are securing an upfront commitment from a returning partner who believes in the power and reach of our original programming and the importance of quality content -- proving that quality, premium content is indeed scarce in the digital ecosystem."
"The 'Connected' sponsorship is especially meaningful for Sprint as the show's theme -- which reminds viewers of the universal bond of families -- is a natural fit for the company's 'Joy of Connecting' brand platform," said Colleen Whitney, SVP Media Director/National Video Lead at DigitasLBi. "The docu-drama format of the series, in which five New Yorkers will film their own lives for six months, embodies the real-life portrayal of the modern framily."
AOL's 2014 original programming builds on the monumental success of the 2013 slate, having garnered a total of 150 million views within the year. Of those, #CandidlyNicole, Hardwired, city.ballet., and The Future Starts Here amassed a combined 75 million views since launch, matching the success of top-tier cable programs. With VH1 set to release half-hour episodes of #CandidlyNicole in July, AOL has proven that the lines between traditional TV and digital have become increasingly blurred, and that great content can truly be found on every screen.*
*AOL On Network -- Internal data
AOL Inc. (NYSE: AOL) is a brand company, committed to continuously innovating, growing, and investing in brands and experiences that inform, entertain, and connect the world. The home of a world-class collection of premium brands, AOL creates original content that engages audiences on a local and global scale. We help marketers connect with these audiences through effective and engaging digital advertising solutions.
DigitasLBi is a global marketing and technology agency that transforms businesses for the digital age. We help companies of all shapes and sizes decide What's Next... and then we take them there. Also a top ten global agency, DigitasLBi comprises of 6,000 digital and technology experts across 40 offices in 25 countries worldwide.
In 2008 the agency created the now-annual Digitas NewFront, a breakthrough, industry-leading event to showcase what's next in original digital content.
In 2012, the agency successfully founded the Digital Content NewFronts (DCNF) to shape a new market space for original, premium content at scale -- an acknowledged competitor in the Upfront marketplace.
DigitasLBi is a member of Publicis Groupe [listed on the Euronext Paris Exchange -- FR0000130577 -- and part of the CAC 40 index] is the world's third largest communications group. With approximately 60,000 professionals spanning 108 countries on five continents, Publicis Groupe offers local and international clients a complete range of communications services. Web site: www.publicisgroupe.com.