Vizio and The Home Depot are getting festive with a holiday-themed branded entertainment series featured on the smart TV-maker’s homescreen hero, further epitomizing Vizio’s move into branded content partnerships with advertisers.
The series, “Merry & Bright,” includes three, 10-minute episodes hosted by Grammy-nominated singer Jordin Sparks covering Christmas-themed makeovers. The Home Depot, which is sponsoring the Vizio-produced series, will offer access to the products available at the retailer featured throughout the series through on-screen in-episode QR codes. The episodes launch today and will be available through the end of the year.
“It’s always such a dynamic combination when we can create content for our ad partners that tackles their KPI’s and squarely aligns with our audience's interests,” Vizio Director of Branded Content Sales and Strategy Katlyn Wilson told StreamTV Insider over email.
She noted that the partnership with The Home Depot is a perfect paradigm in bringing together holiday content with the DIY genre, “which is consistently two of the top-viewed content categories on Vizio.”
The partnership echoes another move from Vizio earlier this year when it announced its first original branded program partnership with the sports betting service BetMGM. Not long after, the company launched a dedicated Branded Content Studio unit to help advertisers with data-informed programming, stating its intentions to lean more into branded content opportunities for advertisers.
“Merry & Bright” continues to push this larger strategy to drive advertising within its connected TV business. Revenue from Vizio’s Platform Plus — which includes ad revenue from its WatchFree+ FAST service, homescreen and video products — represented the fastest-growing component of the company as of Q2.
According to Wilson, the two approached the series with a few objectives in mind. “First, The Home Depot’s goal this holiday season is to expand beyond the traditional :15- and :30-second spot and lean into emotional storytelling during their key sales period. Second, the media supporting the series via prominent placement on Vizio’s home screen assists in driving awareness at the very first touch of the remote.”
She added that “the cherry on top” is the built-in shoppable QR-code, which directs viewers to a custom “shop the look” page on HomeDepot.com where audiences can directly put items used on the series into a shopping cart.
Vizio’s recently launched Branded Content Studio unit has been tasked with creating data-driven, programming with relevant messaging across multiple formats. Wilson said they are continuing to tackle that challenge with this partnership.
“One of the challenges with emerging formats like this is striking the right balance of brand messaging within the content,” she explained. “We didn’t want this to feel just like another ad. Our collective goal in creating ‘Merry & Bright’ in partnership with The Home Depot was to create engaging holiday entertainment, first and foremost, backed by Vizio’s ACR data targeting and driven by the synergies between a brand and our audience.”