Nestlé is tapping Comcast’s G4 network to help round out its celebrity crime-stopper collective, launching a search for the fourth member of its “Butterfinger Defense League” on Attack of the Show.
Assembled to thwart rampant Butterfinger theft, the BFDL consists of ’80s throwbacks Erik Estrada (CHiPs) and Lou Ferrigno (The Incredible Hulk), as well as Buffy the Vampire Slayer alum Charisma Carpenter. (The threat of petit larceny has long been a selling point for the brand; former spokesperson Bart Simpson once admonished consumers with the tag line, “Nobody better lay a finger on my Butterfinger!”)
Beginning May 13, Attack of the Show hosts Olivia Munn and Kevin Pereira will challenge viewers to make a case for why they’re best suited to become the fourth leg of the BFDL. Two candidates will win a trip to the San Diego Comic-Con (July 21-25), whereupon the newest member of the League will be sworn in by the original trio. Butterfinger will also kick in a $20,000 cash prize. The coronation will air during G4’s live Comic-Con coverage.
Between now and the end of the integrated promotion (whose value was not disclosed but is estimated to be in the six figures), G4 will run what it deems are the best user-generated video submissions in select episodes of AOTS. Along with the integrations, a 20-second Butterfinger promo will be featured on G4 throughout the life of the buy.
As seen on Butterfinger’s proprietary site and its Yahoo and YouTube channels, the loopy BFDL creative seems hell-bent on inspiring viral dissemination. Decked out in cop finery, Estrada is winkingly celebrated for his sexiness; per Butterfinger, the 61-year-old Ponch is “a tasty piece of man-candy.”
The cheeky tone presents a nice contextual fit for G4, said Jonathan Farrell, vp, G4 marketing solutions. “Young guys tune in to watch Olivia and Kevin’s special brand of unapologetic comedy,” Farrell said. “They’re edgy and funny, but they’re also the acknowledged experts in their field. I don’t think you could ask for a better environment to entice consumers to interact with your brand.”
Whether the campaign has legs remains to be seen, said Bill Evans, the svp who heads up Fleishman-Hillard’s digital practice in New York. “The content they produce over time has to be very compelling and entertaining,” Evans said, adding that should Nestlé drop the BFDL, it risks alienating consumers who’ve become engaged with the concept.
In April, G4 posted its most-watched month ever with total viewers (120,000), while boosting its delivery of men 18-34 by 38 percent over April ’09. Per SNL Kagan, G4 last year generated $72.7 million in net ad revenue, a 4 percent gain over ’08. —with Elaine Wong, Brandweek