Yahoo and ConAgra leverage comedians for new Web show

OMAHA, NE: ConAgra Foods partnered with Yahoo for a new branded entertainment partnership, "What's So Funny?" that launched on November 16.

OMAHA, NE: ConAgra Foods partnered with Yahoo for a new branded entertainment partnership, "What's So Funny?" that launched on November 16. The PR for the new series is being led by Yahoo, which is conducting both trade and consumer outreach through traditional media and online.

The online Web series pits two comedians in a he-said, she-said format, debating the funniest moments on TV the night before, and viewers vote on their funniest moments at the end. ConAgra and its brands are featured as sponsors, similar to other branded entertainment partnerships. The comedy angle is new for Yahoo, explained Brian Nelson, director of communications for Yahoo, as is the back-and-forth format and voting.

"A big part of the PR campaign on the trade side is to highlight Yahoo's leadership position in display advertising, while at the same time highlight Yahoo's ability to partner with advertisers and come up with creative solutions," he said.

On the consumer side, Yahoo is working with GolinHarris, which it hired in 2007 for consumer efforts. It is aiding traditional media outreach to publications including the Los Angeles Times, Entertainment Weekly, MediaWeek, People.com, and broadcast and radio outlets. The strategy, said Yahoo's director of consumer communications Jaime Le, is mostly about leveraging the comedian hosts.

"One of the steps we're looking to do is a radio tour with them where we basically bring the show to the radio personalities and allow the bantering back and forth," Le said. "Our hosts have quite a following through social media, so we're leveraging them, along with Yahoo's social media tools."

Yahoo will also extend the reach of the show by pitching media not only about the comedians and the show itself, but taking the results of the voting and talking about what consumers think is funny in TV today. ConAgra signed onto the show for one-year. "What's So Funny?" airs five days a week, with a weekend voting results show.

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