This summer, DEFY Media's youth comedy brand SMOSH partnered with Wrigley's 5 Gum and Starcom Worldwide, to break digital content barriers with a fully produced, professionally rendered live sketch show—SMOSH Live, presented by 5 Gum. Inspired by Saturday Night Live, this 90-minute livestreamed event brought the popular SMOSH sketches to a live studio audience at YouTube Space LA, and promoted 5 Gum's Truth or Dare campaign with integrations once only seen in TV advertising.
Once a year, 5 Gum releases specialty gum packs that reveal various challenges to their chewers through the gum stick foil wrappers—daring teens and young adults to have fun by stepping into the unknown to face "Do I or Don't I" moments when they "Play the Pack." To capture the attention of this difficult-to-reach and advertising-wary demographic, DEFY and Starcom knew that the key was to show, not tell, this audience the fun in playing the specially marked packs of 5 Gum. Faced with declining gum purchases amongst teens and young adults, 5 Gum needed a unique execution that offered both scale and influence—which is where SMOSH came in.
Because the SMOSH brand has 40MM YouTube subscribers and 39MM social followers that fall into 5 Gum's target demographic, SMOSH Live presented an excellent platform to reach a massive audience in a TV-style ad program, but with one key element that networks can't deliver— live social interaction with other fans watching. With 5 sketches performed on multiple sets, 6 commercial parodies, and a pre-and post-show, SMOSH Live presented the perfect opportunity for fans to engage and experience the event together, making the 5 Gum-sponsored event even more valuable to the demographic.
The 5 Gum integration featured:
The partnership officially kicked off at VidCon with a massive Truth or Dare activation, where fans were invited to go outside their comfort zones alongside SMOSH talent to participate in extreme challenges. It was also at VidCon that SMOSH creators Ian Hecox and Anthony Padilla announced SMOSH Live, garnering massive coverage in media outlets such as WSJ, Variety, MediaPost, Chelsea Handler's Netflix series, and more. Susan Wojcicki, CEO of YouTube, personally tweeted about the upcoming event from her own account.
All of the leadup paid off: SMOSH Live was a huge hit. In a Live + 3 Day viewership count, SMOSH Live was watched 1.4MM times with 22MM minutes viewed, generated 225,000 comments, held a 98% like ratio, and produced 87,000 social engagements. Today, SMOSH Live has 3MM views on the full show, and almost 7MM views on the individual sketches—for a combined total of 9.9MM+ views. Over the course of the broadcast, the in-show live commercials promoting 5 Gum reached over 880K total video views and 50K concurrent views.
SMOSH Live was featured in The Wall Street Journal, IndieWire, Digiday, and many other top-tier media outlets.
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