It finally happened! Online video is taking money right out of TV’s hands. AdAge reports that AwesomenessTV, the teen-focused YouTube network acquired by DreamWorks Animation last year, has persuaded Royal Caribbean cruises to pull money directly from the TV advertising budget and spend it on web programming instead. The move, while not the first of its kind, is one of the largest and certainly the most well publicized.
Two shows produced by AwesomenessTV for the cruise line will begin appearing online in mid-summer. The first will star Awesomeness creator Josh Levya, better known as YouTube’s YoMuscleBoii, who will vlog his way through one of Royal Caribbean’s cruises premieres July 6. The show will provide a real life take on Royal Caribbean’s various amenities from a familiar face.
The second series will be a scripted effort called “Shipping Julia.” Described as romantic drama in the mode of “Romeo and Juliet,” but set aboard one of Royal Caribbean’s cruise ships, will launch in early August. Both series aim to attract audiences by glamorizing and dramatizing the cruise experience.
Pulling in ad dollars that are traditionally earmarked for TVs is basically the holy grail of online video advertising. Despite increasing viewership, particularly in key demographics like teens and young adults, online video still brings in far fewer coveted advertising dollars than mainstream television. However, the deal between Awesomeness and Royal Caribbean neatly demonstrates that that paradigm is starting to change.
Awesomeness may owe some of its new clout in the advertising world to its recent acquisition by DreamWorks Animation. YouTube networks have often struggled to get the same respect as established advertising and media brands when it comes to winning over advertisers. In contrast, DreamWorks is a household name and the buzz surrounding the studio is sure to have added weight to AwesomenessTV’s new media pitch.