MTVN Launches Humor Vertical Net Around Comedy Central; JibJab Joins ‘The Tribe’


About four months after MTV Networks (NYSE: VIA) formally introduced its Tribes online ad network, the company is set to unveil its humor vertical for Comedy Central with JibJab among its first members. Earlier this month, when the Venice, CA.-based animated e-cards creator raised a $7.5 million third round, the company had been working on “reinventing the $8 billion greetings industry.”

Part of that entails building up more paying subscribers. The other part involves attracting more ad revenue from major marketers. The two began talking about working together when JibJab was rounding up investors for that last round. And when JibJab began running its ElfYourself campaign with Office Max, MTVN invited JibJab to join its Comedy Tribe, as it looked for other ways beyond static banner ads to draw in marketers. “If you look at where advertisers are moving, the kind of work JibJab has been doing with Office Max and others is a perfect example of that,” explained Heather Hopkins, Tribes’ SVP/GM. “By being able to offer them sponsorships, we can promise deeper engagement.”

So far, JibJab and MTVN’s relationship, like the ones in the five other Tribes — Parenting, MTV Generation Tribe and the ones CMT, Spike and VH1 — will be centered around advertising. But Hopkins left the door open for expanding the partnership down the road. “We’re mainly concentrating on ads, but we’re constantly looking for ways to extend our content as well.”

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