Tomorrow night, NBC will be testing out a new kind of advertising, blending television, social media and improv comedy, Variety reports. The plan is to run a pair of live ads during Thursday night's Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. The first ad will be a classic improv prompt, scheduled for early in the program, asking for sketch ideas involving the Lexus IS and directing viewers to Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Tumblr accounts where they can submit their ideas. The second ad, running in the final commercial break, will show the result: a live-broadcast ad, incorporating viewer suggestions. If viewers want to see the final skit, the logic goes, they'll have to stick around until the end of the show.
It's a test run for a new breed experimental social-media-based ad campaigns, which aim to build a connection with viewers that mimics the push and pull of social networks like Twitter, while retaining the mass audience of broadcast. NBC told Variety that it had recruited a number of New York-based improv troops to write and perform the ads, and planned to continue the ads on Thursday nights for at least four weeks to come.