AOL’s Brand Production House, Be On, Scores First Project

Portal rolls out DIY series for Jeep

At AOL’s NewFront last month, the company announced that it was going into the business of helping brands produce and distribute branded content. Well, it’s on.

The company’s new in-house production business, Be On, has churned out its first post-NewFront work for a brand (a few advertisers had projects in the works before the event). Jeep has rolled out a branded entertainment series Pretty Savvy featuring Erica Domesek who runs the crafting blog P.S. I made this. AOL helped Jeep with the concept, production, distribution and syndication. So far, Pretty Savvy’s first three episodes have garnered a million views, according to Charles Gabriel, vp of sales for AOL On.

"A few brands are on board already," Gabriel said. "This one came immediately after the event. Jeep came right back and we got a concept."

The show features Domesek tackling projects such as how to make a T-shirt or how to create fashionable glasses. 10 episodes are planned in total. Jeep will be featured prominently three episodes, and the brand is also running pre-rolls, Project Devil ads on AOL sites like StyleList, a Pinterest contest, as well as ads across the Web on other similarly targeted sites; Jeep is using the show to promote the Jeep Compass, aimed at women 25-34 looking to buy their first car.

AOL’s pitch with BeOn is essentially; content is hard, distribution is expensive, technology is everything, Brands aren’t necessarily good at any of this stuff, and we’ve got it all.

“We’re saying, ‘coming to us gives them that entire solution for ideation and creation production and paid syndication,’” said Gabriel. “We’re the ones with the scale and distribution. It's a lot easier for us. But editorially it’s got to work for our audience, otherwise even our own properties, our own editors will say, ‘hey, i’m not promoting this.’ You need the right talent and the right concepts.”