Notes from the mediascape: Levity calls on superfans to spread the word

US-based Levity Entertainment Group launched E-Comic Branding this month, a new digital marketing service with integration opps.

Superfans seem to be gaining face time in media campaigns these days. The phenomenon, which essentially has die-hard fans promoting your brand across the digisphere for free, seems to be gaining steam as a strategic campaign element in these recessionary-budget times.

Comedy is the latest industry to give it play, with US-based Levity Entertainment Group launching a full-blown digital marketing service called E-Comic Branding. Levity, which produces original comedy programming for TV, branded entertainment, live exhibition, and digital marketing, is now also the leading shareholder of the largest comedy club chain in the US, Improv – an advantage it also plans to leverage for insight into the industry’s up-and-coming talent.

Leveraging its resources – facilitated through the group’s recent consolidation of management, exhibition, production and marketing operating units – the co is targeting consumers worldwide through fan communities engaged around a comedian via MySpace, Facebook and Twitter.

By integrating its comedy industry talent operations, the co’s new service allows clients to increase their online/digital footprint, and maximize revenues across comedy tours, DVD sales, TV, digital and merchandising by building online fan communities who actively reach out to current social networking site commenters, databases of email fan members and bloggers, and engage them in online dialogue to create buzz.

‘Once a member of the superfan network, we can go to these fans again and again as they typically will excitedly do whatever we want them to do to help promote the comedian,’ Levity Entertainment Group/E-Comic Branding principal Darrin McAfee, tells MiC. No pay to play,’ he says. ‘We only go after the most avid, hardcore fans and give them tools to spread the word about our client.’ Since its beta launch earlier this year, the new service has already been used to manage the online presence of Jeff Dunham, George Lopez and David Spade, as well as six of the top 10 ranked comics on MySpace Comedy’s up-and-coming comedians.

>The service is available to Canadian clients and open to brand integration via the co’s branded entertainment division, Medium. ‘The value to a brand is the attention of engaged comedy consumers to whom we can deliver content with a brand attached,’ McAfee explains.

The newly consolidated Levity Entertainment Group includes Levity Productions (which produces shows for Comedy Central, TBS and Showtime), talent manager Levity Management, Triage Entertainment (whose credits include CBS’s Survivor live finale and reality series like Food Network’s Iron Chef America) and branded entertainment prodco Medium.