‘Lonelygirl15’ cozies up to promo deal

Neutrogena pacts with Web series producers

“Lonelygirl15” isn’t living up to her name as she makes some new marketing pals.

In an unusual promotional partnership, Neutrogena has inked a deal with the producers of the popular Web series to help market “Lonelygirl15” — with one of the company’s young scientists to join the cast.

Financial terms of the two-month deal were not disclosed, but the move is the latest sign of how marketers are increasingly moving more of their traditional ad dollars away from television and onto the Internet — and becoming more creative as they do so.

Show’s new character, who will make his first appearance Monday and appear in episodes over the next two months, had already been conceived by the show’s creators, Miles Beckett and Greg Goodfried, as a 22-year-old scientist who helps the series’ lead characters create a serum in order to thwart an evil org known as the Order.

He became branded as a Neutrogena staffer after CAA, which reps the Web series and its producers, approached the maker of skin, hair and cosmetics products with the opportunity to tie in with the show.

Neutrogena immediately sparked to “Lonelygirl15,” considering that the show specifically attracts teen and twentysomething consumers — the demo that the company is trying to target with its products.

However, company won’t be using the show to push specific products.

Series revolves around 16-year-old Bree, a home-schooled girl who finds herself embroiled in a mystery involving a cult. Character’s played by Jessica Lee Rose, who appears alongside Lindsay Lohan in Sony’s “I Know Who Killed Me.”

“At Neutrogena, we are always searching for innovative ways to reach our core consumer,” said Laurent Combredet, group product director for Neutrogena. “Lonelygirl15” is a “perfect demographic fit for Neutrogena. Our collaboration was inspired by the creators’ inventive approach to integrating our brand into the storyline of the series in a manner that their fans will appreciate.”

Series, which appears on LG15.com and YouTube, bowed last summer and has been viewed more than 50 million times since its launch, becoming one of the few breakout hits online. It regularly attracts around 150,000 viewers per month. On YouTube, episodes can attract up to 300,000; series’ page on the site has 95,000 registered subs.

New video installments of the interactive series appear five days a week, running for up to three minutes.

To help increase viewership, Neutrogena will promote the series on its own site, even streaming episodes.

Neutrogena reps are staying creatively hands-off on how its brand appears in the show.

Producers of “Loneygirl15” had already tested the sponsorship waters in January, when it integrated Hershey’s Icebreakers Sours gum into an episode.

They’re eyeing promo deals as a way to help pay for the show and keep it running; they’ve received the support of viewers to pull the trigger on such deals.

Show’s creators are prepping to launch their next series, “KateModern,” which bows in July on social networking site Bebo.com. Project, with its plot and characters based in London, targets auds in the U.K., Ireland, Australia and New Zealand.

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