The crew behind the short video series Chad Vader – Day Manager sent out a press release today announcing that the show’s next episode is going to debut on the front page of MySpace tonight and show there exclusively for 24 hours. Madison, Wisconsin based producers Matt Sloan and Aaron Yonda (Blame Society Productions) have told other writers that Tom himself will send out a MySpace bulletin with a link to the video.
Sending out press released about your show on MySpace Video or YouTube appears to be a growing trend and in most cases strikes me as ridiculous. The Chad Vader crew has been posting behind the scenes updates on YouTube leading up to this new episode for several months. Previous episodes have been viewed millions of times. Perhaps it’s because Chad Vader is so much better than several of the terrible video shows on YouTube that have issued press releases lately, but putting out a press release on the MySpace exclusive feature makes sense to me.
Appearing below is the first episode of the show, my favorite so far. Here are the other three shows. All are under 7 minutes in length and episode 4 leaves off at a place where the series could have ended. Episode 5 will be allowed to go viral after 24 hours on the front page of MySpace – an arrangement less profitable but otherwise far more desirable than the recent Google Video deal with EepyBird, for example.
Chad Vader – Day Manager is a short form show about “Chad Vader, the younger, less charismatic brother of Darth Vader, who is the day shift manager of a grocery store.” It’s very funny. The show has received media attention from Good Morning America, New York Times Magazine, the Wall Street Journal and several others – but the front page of MySpace could be the biggest coup yet. Mainstream media attention may be good for building prestige, but if you want large numbers of viewers I can’t think of any place better than the front page of MySpace. I expect too that the well known icon of a Darth Vader costume, out of context in a grocery store, will make for an unusually eye catching screen shot on the front page.
Where will they go next? This space is so new that trails are still being blazed. Will DVD sales be sufficient to support the Blame Society? Will they be signed by a bloated old media conglomerate and play up sex appeal at the expense of interesting content? Can their star status be sustained, economically and comedically? Will emerging artists like this just be used by big media old and new to drive ad revenue and then be left out in the cold? The game has just begun and no answers to these questions are clear yet.