“Arrested Development” duo Jason Bateman and Will Arnett have partnered with Ben Silverman’s new Electus shingle to launch a digital-driven production company.
Bateman and Arnett’s DumbDumb label will focus on developing commercials and shorts for advertisers, as well as other original content that might eventually be adapted into big-screen properties.
Bateman, Arnett and Silverman were set to announce the launch of DumbDumb on Friday at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
“I was really interested in doing some commericals for mainstream, high-level companies in a lo-fi, lo-tech way online,” Bateman said. “It seemed like a good thing to talk to Ben about.”
Bateman and Silverman, who have known each other since high school, then recruited Arnett to join the enterprise.
“Will and I started talking about it together, and it became bigger, as we talked about doing short-form and long-form programming,” Bateman said. “Ben educated us on the branded landscape and digital distribution. It’s been an education.”
Electus will package the DumbDumb content inside its comedy division, and will help partner Bateman and Arnett with advertisers.
DumbDumb is already meeting with advertisers about signing on with marketing partners, and Bateman said he and Arnett have started kicking around which concepts might work with different sponsors.
“We’ve got some ideas in mind, some things that might work great for soft drink or cookie or computer companies,” Bateman said. “We’ve been thinking about our advertising voice and brand, and at some point people will be immediately able to look and say, ‘That’s a DumbDumb spot.'”
DumbDumb will hire a creative exec in the coming months to oversee the endeavor. Arnett and Bateman will also utilize the web production and development infrastructure of CollegeHumor.com, which, like Electus, is a division of Barry Diller’s IAC.
“Jason and Will are unique triple threats, people who can direct, write and act,” Silverman said. “They have an intrinsic talent for understanding what makes something funny and how that content will resonate with audiences.”
Bateman said he and Arnett were also inspired by the growth of humorous viral videos on sites like Funny or Die and College Humor.
“Will and I, and our friends and colleagues, are spending a lot of time doing these funny viral videos, sketches made for a low price,” he said. “It’s a fun hobby for a lot of us. There’s a marriage to be made there, between sponsors and what we find ourselves doing.”