Comedy Central Goes ‘Live’

NEW YORK Comedy Central has created a new division dedicated to live entertainment that will provide advertisers multiple platforms to market their brands.

Comedy Central Live Entertainment aims to increase its presence in the stand-up circuit through tours and festivals. Mitch Fried, former svp, promotion marketing for Comedy Central, has been tapped to lead the new division.

For advertisers, Fried said there are many new opportunities cropping up. For example, one of its first projects is a deal with comedian Stephen Lynch that will involve an international stand-up tour, visiting cities in the U.S., U.K., Sweden and Holland beginning in January. Advertisers will gain international exposure, if that is a part of the package they choose to pay for, said Fried.

Brands can also partake in local and national cross-promotions. A beverage brand, for example, could have its identity displayed with retailers in local-market promos, though an advertiser would be recognized as a sponsor at the national level. Another example would be an automotive brand, which could work with local car dealerships to gain event-tie-in visibility.

“Companies that have national programs but implement on a local level are ideal for the touring business, so we can create these umbrella initiatives,” said Fried. For advertisers, he added, the “activation, attachment and association” works well.

Other extensions would be advertising on CD and DVD packages attached to the live shows as well as sweepstakes sponsorships. It becomes a “one-stop shop” for brands, added Fried.