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BizReport : Social Marketing : June 22, 2007

Lonelygirl15 gets 'branded character' for company

The popular web drama “Lonelygirl15” has struck a deal with a major skincare brand in an unusual product placement move.

by Helen Leggatt

neutrogena%20logo.gifNeutrogena, a Johnson & Johnson skincare brand, has signed a 2-month promotional deal with the internet drama “Lonelygirl15”. To some it’s a sell-out but many think the integration of a brand into an online drama is an innovative way to target core consumers.

It’s not the first sponsorship for the online show which evolved out of what was initially perceived as a “real life” YouTube broadcast by an ordinary 16 year old girl. Previously, the show partnered with Hershey’s when the main character, Bree, was shown eating their Icebreaker Sours.

The sponsorship will see the introduction of a new cast member, a young Neutrogena scientist, who will become involved in a plot to defeat an evil organisation. No single product will be promoted and the brand will be woven into the storyline.

"This type of integration actually allows us to achieve even more reality for our show," said Lonelygirl15 creators Greg Goodfried and Miles Beckett. "The most important thing is telling a compelling story. In this instance, the story line comes first and the fact that the new character works at Neutrogena heightens the reality."

Neutrogena will feature the branded episodes of Lonelygirl15 on their website, boosting the drama's already huge audience which consists mainly of female teens and 20-somethings.

Tags: Lonelygirl15, online video, product placement

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