Crackle bows as showcase site for provocative talents

When Sony Pictures Entertainment bought the Grouper online video site in August for $65 million, its plan was to transform the network into a showcase and launch pad for the industry's top emerging talent.

When Sony Pictures Entertainment bought the Grouper online video site in August for $65 million, its plan was to transform the network into a showcase and launch pad for the industry's top emerging talent.

Idea: "The online video entertainment market is quite crowded," said Taryn Langer, MD at Group SJR, Crackle's AOR. "The difference between Crackle and other sites is that we're looking for content creators who are passionate about making a provocative product," she said. "It's a new type of entertainment that stands apart from the crowd. We wanted to make sure it was understood." As such, Langer said her firm's plan was to raise Crackle's pre-launch profile among targeted media tastemakers, and position it as a bar-raising "graduation of user-generated content."
 
Tools: Crackle culminated the first phase of its launch with a party at San Francisco's Space Age-chic Destiny Lounge. Site creators, sponsors, and advertisers mingled with VIP media and industry influencers. Launch components ranged from conventional to guerilla, Langer said. With PR as its primary tool, Crackle and Group SJR organized embargoed-till-launch site demos for top-tier traditional media and influential bloggers in the business and tech communities. Group SJR also seeded blogs with a fast-paced, martial arts-themed viral video produced by one of Crackle's content creators, and distributed branded USB sticks with episodes of its original series "Judgment Day" to journalists at the recent Television Critics Association meeting in LA.
 
Measurement: Langer said it would measure the effort's effectiveness by tracking media impressions and measuring site traffic.

Organization:  Sony Pictures Entertainment's Crackle (Sausalito, CA)
Campaign:  Launch of Crackle
PR team:  In-house and Group SJR (New York and LA)
Other marketing:  Online marketing buys, on-site promotions
Launch:  July 16
Budget:  Undisclosed

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