Slice TV debuts web series about Toronto scenesters

As the first web TV series for Slice TV, JacLife, about a rich, attractive designer, was created in order to create more online ad inventory and build a loyal online viewer base.

With online ad inventory often limited to units that can be sold out at any given time, Canwest is seeking to increase its digital ad opps with a new online-only series for Slice, Paul Burns, VP digital media, Canwest, tells MiC. Called JacLife, the new show follows Jaclyn Genovese, a Toronto scenester who spends her time club-hopping with equally attractive, dramatic friends (think less gritty than Jersey Shore, but not as all-consuming as The Hills).

It’s the first time the network has commissioned a web TV series that wasn’t about food or home-building, says Burns.

But besides increasing the pre-roll ad inventory, the series, because of its focus on luxury lifestyle, is also the perfect opportunity for branded content, he adds. ‘This is about a Canadian girl who we find very interesting, so there is a whole range of brands that fit well. There’s a compelling argument to have brands’ products incorporated into the content of the program. We view this as a branded content experience.’

The JacLife microsite will also feature a dress-up game where users can dress Jaclyn in pieces from her fashion line Jac and Gill (worn by celebrities including her friend 90210 actress Shenae Grimes), a dictionary of the JacLife lingo and a photo blog with beauty tips and gossip.

Web TV is picking up steam as a credible platform – the creators of American Idol this week announced they’ll be launching a web-only series on Hulu, and bigger celebrities are in on the web TV action. For Canwest, online video is the fastest-growing area for revenue and audience engagement, says Burns. ‘We’re at a scenario is that a definitive strategy is to increase the ad inventory that we have across our sites and this is a good experiment to try that,’ he says.

The show is being promoted on the Slice TV network with online and TV spots. It will also initially rely on the network’s current online traffic, which is 62% female, aged 18 to 49.