One of my first blog posts was about the lame web tv show that American Family Insurance was sponsoring in a failed attempt to deepen and strengthen its relationships with its customers. My beef wasn't with the form, a web-based series, but the execution. What it boils down to is quality. Or in AmFam's case, the lack thereof.
Apparently one company that gets it is Ikea. Their web TV show, Easy To Assemble, works on a lot of levels. First, it's well written. The short episodes are funny, the dialog is sharp, and the premise is solid. Second, the brand is organic to the concept. The creators didn't shoe-horn Ikea into the show. They built a show around Ikea. It also doesn't hurt that it stars Illeana Douglas and Justine Bateman and features others like Ed Begley, Jr, Jeff Goldblum and Kevin Pollack.
Great, you say, it's funny, it has stars, and it showcases the brand, but does it work? Easy To Assemble has over 5 million viewers. That's more people than watched ABC's Shark Tank and Fox's Doll House last Friday night. And unlike those shows, you know who's sponsoring this one.
So the question isn't if the web is ready for prime time. It's, Is prime time ready for the web?