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Branded Sponsorship with Stephen Colbert Drives Social Buzz for Wheat Thins

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Stephen Colbert's on-air routine taking Wheat Thins and its advertising memo to task in a branded sponsorship earlier this year was deliberate, says Amanda Richman, President of Digital at MediaVest, in interview with Beet.TV

We caught up with her at the Ad Age Social TV conference last week to discuss the Colbert-Kraft Food sponsorship. She says that it generated mega buzz as the host poked fun at the brand as well as how the agency looks to social media to measure the impact of such integrations. (See the routine edited into this clip.)

The Wheat Thins program was architected by Kraft agency MediaVest. The goal was to "spark a dialogue," she says. "The program was started with our conversations with media partners to integrate the Wheat Thins brand into the dialogue and do it in a way that is playful and makes fun of itself." The next step was to brief the Colbert team, who then used the brief as part of the segment, she explains in this video interview.

When measuring these type of deals, agencies should look at engagement, time spent, conversations, volumes of tweets and the viral nature of the content, she tells us. Branded sponsorships, such as the Colbert one, can bring value to the marketer in the on-air mention, but also in the continued conversations among consumers via social channels. Social TV deals such as this are becoming more common for brands and networks. Richman also discusses the impact of the recently-held New Fronts.

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