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IAC’s Electus Rolls Out ‘Dirty Shorts’ Branded Content Series

Electus, the branded content studio run by former NBC exec Ben Silverman, has released a sponsored series from its recent partnership with comic actors Jason Bateman and Will Arrent. The two stars, late of Fox’s too-quirky-for-primetime Arrested Development, are running their own mini-branded content studio within Electus called DumbDumb. The lead-off project, which debuted at a party hosted by Electus’ parent IAC (NSDQ: IACI) as part of Internet Week New York, is a project with Wrigley’s brand Orbit Gum called Orbit Dirty Shorts (for years, Orbit’s tagline has been “Dirty mouth? Clean it up with Orbit”) . The first effort is called The Prom Date, and takes an off-kilter look at “the dirty world of student and teacher dating – and how the parents of the student involved react.”

DumbDumb’s Orbit digital shorts are initially being shown on a dedicated YouTube channel, and the full series will begin airing later this month on a number of other websites as well as on Orbit’s main site.

With video sites like Hulu mulling over with issues such as subscriptions and keeping the peace with the ad sales teams at its network backers, branded content has seemed like a natural way to go for online video producers as the revenue models continue to develop. Plus, as our Joe Tartakoff noted this week, online video viewing habits are changing.

In addition to rising numbers of viewers for online video, users are watching more web content during the traditional primetime period — 8pm to 10pm — that was established by television programming. Video sites such as Revision3,, and, which all say people are either now watching more online videos at night than during the day. Meanwhile, online video ad spend’s growth is still expected to be 40 percent this year, according to IDC, but the numbers are still fairly small part of the roughly $25 billion spent annually on internet ads. But branded content by marketers such as Wrigley could help close the gap between video ad spend and the rest of online — not to mention offline — marketing dollars.

The video is embedded below

Here’s Staci D. Kramer’s interview with Jason Bateman, Ricky Van Veen and Drew Buckley explaining DumbDumb five months ago at CES:


2 Responses to “IAC’s Electus Rolls Out ‘Dirty Shorts’ Branded Content Series”

  1. Remember the “Lux Radio Theater” from the 1940’s and similar programs before and after?

    I still think this is a smart idea. The tricky part is to have good scripts, so people keep watching it.