Comedy Central’s newest up-and-coming comedian will soon hold forth not in a new program on the Viacom-owned cable outlet, but rather in a series of commercials slated to debut on the network.
In an effort that will be seen on Comedy Central, Snapchat and other venues, comedian Iliza Shlesinger will demonstrate the various amenities available at Hyatt Regency hotels. In one video, the comic goes on tour at a hotel, doing her routine in the lobby, elevators and even at the doors of some guests’ rooms. In another, she asks for enough pillows to bury herself and a pet dog in them. At the end of one of the video pieces, Shlesinger is spotted tuning in to Comedy Central’s recently re-launched “The Daily Show with Trevor Noah.” The clips will also be seen on digital outlets owned by Hyatt and Viacom.
There are no jingles or well-intentioned voice-overs that accompany the videos, which contain some graphics that reference the hotel chain. They mostly linger on Shlesinger’s antics, some of which were not part of the script. “As long as the hotel looked like a pretty fun place to stay, they were happy with it,” she said of the commercials, in which she was allowed to make improvised remarks.
Viewers tune in to Comedy Central to get a laugh, not for the ads that accompany the funny stuff. So Comedy Central is, like many other TV outlets, getting involved in the process of helping advertisers craft pitches for its air. “We want to create content that is entertaining or funny, but gets across a brand message,” said Chris Ficarra, senior vice president of integrated marketing at Comedy Central. “Our fans are very savvy when it comes to advertising, and you don’’ want to hammer them over the head with messaging.” The network worked with Hyatt’s ad agency, Pereira & O’Dell.
The effort comes as more advertisers are trying to move beyond the confines of traditional TV commercials and instead craft video content that is directly related to the TV programs which attract people in the first place. “What we are basically trying to generate is content you would want to watch,” said Maryam Banikarim, Hyatt’s global chief marketing officer.
To capture ad dollars from marketing executives with similar ideals, Viacom has in recent months promoted its own “Velocity” service that creates advertising designed to play off the content with which it is aligned.
Hyatt is playing up humor as part of a broad campaign that illustrates the fun of being away from home, said Sandra Cordova Micek, senior vice president of global brands – a marketing initiative that is based less on seeking a particular consumer demographic and more on identifying a broader customer interest.
One of the Hyatt ads will remind viewers about the New York Comedy Festival, which gets underway this week. In addition, at certain Hyatt Regency hotels in the U.S., a cast of comedians, including Megan Gailey, Andrew Kenney and Negin Farsad will interact with hotel guests in hotel elevators and elsewhere at the facilities and create videos that will be shared on Hyatt’s social-media outlets. Hyatt is also sponsoring a sweepstakes through December 31 for the chance to win a VIP Daily Show experience, a trip to the New York Comedy Festival and more.