Paris Hilton never met a camera lens she didn’t like. But this time the lens isn’t for a reality television show, the paparazzi, or even a jail mugshot — it’s that of New York-based startup For Your Imagination, which is debuting a new, branded web series tomorrow featuring Paris, her mom Kathy and her sister, Nicky.
The six-part series A Day With the Hiltons will follow a mother-daughter duo that won an all expenses-paid trip to L.A. to spend the day with Paris, Kathy and Nicky “while they visit a salon, attend an intimate brunch and spend the afternoon shopping.” Not exactly my thing, but an interesting example of a new media distribution partnership nonetheless.
The idea and execution all took place over a period of several weeks. The people behind Kathy Hilton’s My Secret fragrance, friends of FYI CEO Paul Kontonis, came up with the idea for a contest, and Kontonis suggested a web series. FYI brought on TV Guide for digital distribution and was soon in L.A., shooting. “No one else was willing to handle it in a three-week turnaround,” Kontonis said of TV Guide in a phone interview. “It came down to the wire and we were very impressed.”
TV Guide Broadband, which delivered 8.7 million plays in March, has 30-day exclusive distribution rights for the web series, after which it will enter wider distribution. According to Kontonis, rather than a rev share, TV Guide paid an upfront fee for the rights. The series will be promoted tonight on Extra, which owns exclusive rights to video of the brunch; People has exclusive rights to the photos, which it will run in its May 18th issue. “It was interesting for us because we do distribution. We struck a deal with [TV Guide] because we knew we could get much higher traffic through them.”
Hanging out with Paris has its moments. “The best thing about it was the pure insanity of the paparazzi once we hit the streets,” Kontonis said. But he also said he liked experimenting with what he called “the future of advertising.” As he put it :”It’s a series built for a brand, but it won’t feel like a brand.”