Blood Rush Bose Arrow

Digital platforms giving brands new ways to court audiences while giving writers ways to flex creative muscles

Bose, the maker of high-end electronics devices like sound-cancelling headphones and speaker systems, is going after a younger audience by pairing up with the CW’s “Arrow.”

Together with the network and the show’s producers, Bose is behind “Blood Rush,” a spinoff of the series that stars Stephen Amell as the bow-wielding DC Comics hero Green Arrow.

While Amell doesn’t appear in the first installment of the program, which bowed during the TV series’ Nov. 6 episode, it does feature characters played by Emily Bett Rickards and Colton Haynes.

Bose is using “Blood Rush” to promote its Bose QC 20 ear buds and SoundLink Mini speakers — more inexpensive offerings from the company that has products aimed at a more mature buyer. The product placement is pretty blatant, with extreme closeups, but it’s not as if the viewer wasn’t warned: The episode is prominently “presented by Bose.”

The CW has yet to reveal just how many episodes of “Blood Rush” it plans to produce, but the series is clearly shot on location in Vancouver, reducing costs.

Should they find an audience, projects like “Blood Rush” could prove a boon for networks: Networks can keep advertisers happy with new opportunities to promote their products, while writers can flex their creative muscles by telling new stories with characters and the actors that play them fans like to follow.

The CW is airing “Blood Rush” on a microsite and on YouTube. Both the network and DC Comics are promoting the project on their respective social media pages.

This type of branded entertainment isn’t an entirely new concept. The CW has been one of the more active networks in coming up with innovative ways to integrate advertisers in its shows on air and online — especially with Kia and “Nikita” and Verizon Wireless and “Gossip Girl.”

During a week when Marvel announced that it will produce four new TV shows for Netflix that feature its superheroes, digital platforms have clearly become the next format comicbook publishers will use to launch original projects intended to keep audiences engrossed in their franchises distributed through more traditional outlets.

SEE ALSO: Why Disney Chose to Put Marvel’s New TV Shows on Netflix

Hollywood is quickly learning that in order to reach a younger consumer, digital can no longer be treated as a side business. And “Blood Rush” signals that marketers are willing to shell out considerable coin to support new ways to connect with fans as well.

Filed Under:

Follow @Variety on Twitter for breaking news, reviews and more
Comments 3