MTV Networks is launching a new comedy-centric advertising vertical (or "tribe," as the company calls it), locking up web video gurus JibJab as its first major out of company client.
Under the advertising agreement, MTV networks will exclusively sell all advertising inventory on JibJab's site as well brand integrations and custom sponsorships.
JibJab is most well known for its satirical videos mocking politicians and the media, and its unusual art style. It also has a popular digital greetings service, allowing users to insert pictures of their friends into the JibJab videos.
JibJab says that the partnership with MTV Networks will help them reach brands that have been reluctant to advertise with web companies such as themselves.
"JibJab has extensive reach but has always struggled to get mindshare with a large number of big brands," said JibJab's CEO, Gregg Spiridellis, announcing the deal. "We believe working with the best comedy ad sales team in the world at MTV Networks will give us an opportunity to educate brands about our audience and premium content offerings at a scale that was never before possible."
The Tribes are demographic focused vertical advertising networks, with an MTV Network digital property as an anchor. They were first launched early last year, with new tribes rolled out later on. Current tribes include the parenting tribe, anchored by Parentsconnect.com, The MTV generation tribe, anchored by MTV and additional tribes based around CMT, Spike and VH1's digital properties. The comedy tribe will be anchored by Comedy Central's web properties.
The tribes also sell ads for partner sites that are not owned by MTV networks. Currently the company sells ads on more than 220 of these sites, including Echo, which creates and manages websites for musicians such as Kanye West and Keith Urban.
"Tribes have proven to be a powerful tool to offer our advertisers greater scale and connect them with relevant and engaged consumers online," said Heather Hopkins, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Tribes in a statement. "With the launch of the Comedy Tribe and the partnership with JibJab, we're able to offer advertisers access to even more consumers as well as high levels of targetability, accountability, and deep brand integrations across some of the most popular and premium comedy sites on the Web."