YouTube and NBC Kiss and Make Up

After all of the controversy between YouTube and NBC regarding the SNL “Lazy Sunday” Cupcake video, it would appear that the companies have been through marriage therapy. NBC (a unit of GE) announced yesterday that it would use YouTube to promote its fall television lineup in a partnership that draws attention to the Internet’s growing role in generating buzz around traditional media content. Source: Forbes.

Is this a gesture by NBC to show that its not “old school media”? Or is it the beginning of a more elaborate partnership. Typically business-to-business partnership starts with some simple transactions like this. If that works, something deeper grows. We’ll see.

“The distinction between television and video is becoming murkier and murkier,” John Miller, the chief marketing officer for the NBC Universal Television Group told the Associated Press. “Rather than putting our heads in the sand and saying this doesn’t exist, we’re trying to jump in and embrace it,” Miller added.

Now a memo to NBC: please make the sponsorship spots on YouTube as clever as the content they’re promoting. No car ads, folks. Give us teasers of content. Behind-the-scenes footage. Some viral content that is as sticky as the show you’re promoting.

There is a possibility this will happen. The companies will sponsor a contest in which fans of The Office can create their own 20-second promotional clip, as long as they don’t use any copyright footage from the show. NBC will provide music, graphics and a “how-to” video. Maybe I can reuse my video of my son laughing at The Office (I tried many times to get permission for this, but all my communication has been ignored).