After Rocketboom’s 10-day auction, the winning bidder had the screen name of StarFinder5, and paid $40,000 for five ads to be produced by Rocketboom. Rocketboom also retains creative control of the ads. Baron told me that the winner was actually TRM, a maker of ATM and copy machines.
With all the attendant publicity around the eBay auction for ad space, Rocketboom ended up selling another week of ads to Earthlink for a similar price, netting the venture a tidy $80,000 for two weeks of ads. At this rate, the vlog could pull in more than $2 million if they sell out a full year of ads.
“We also sold our second week of ad space, similarly, to Earthlink for about the same price,” Baron told me via email yesterday. “We are trying to finalize a couple more [deals] early next week too. Pretty exciting!! So the first week of ads for TRM will run on March 6 to 10, and the Earthlink ads will run March 13 to 17. We did the deal with Earthlink outside of eBay. They wanted to bid but were having setup problems with eBay.”
Sometimes you wonder if a gimmick like an eBay auction will pay off more than once. In this case, it looks like Baron and his on-camera star Amanda Congdon (pictured above) hit the jackpot with many interested parties. It helps that their video blog reaches thousands of people using a unique distribution channel — the Internet and via TiVo. Rocketboom is the ultimate on-demand news spoof.
On Friday’s show, Congdon sat lounging on a couch, smug about closing the deal on eBay. But you can never tell how much she’s serious and how much she is laughing at herself.
“I do think 2006 is going to be a great year, because I think video blogs are going to get more mainstream,” she says, half-seriously. “And videobloggers might be against that. But I think we should all embrace it, as a giant change and shift in media. I think it’s going to be amazing for the mainstream to discover what we’ve all known for quite awhile.”
She also spoke about using the money to get a teleprompter and new background, and investing more money in the show. Then after much self-satisfied talk about how spirtual she is, and how she is recognized on the street, Congdon was interrupted with a call on her smart phone.
“Hey Satan. I’ll get my soul faxed over this afternoon.”
Now comes the tough part, as Rocketboom will be helping create the ads for TRM and Earthlink. While we can expect them to be funny and tongue-in-cheek, the advertisers might wonder if the mocking will go too far.
Do you think the advertisers are paying too much for ad space on Rocketboom? Will they get their money’s worth? Are they giving up too much control?