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Original Video Content: If Google, AOL Do It, Why Not BMW?

Original online video programming is becoming a force online. There is Google, which is in the process of closing deals with such celebrities as skateboarder Tony Hawk, as well as media companies to produce original content for YouTube, sources tell the Wall Street Journal. It is part of a $100 million initiative that Google has been talking about for some time.

AOL, for its part, is introducing a new slate of original programming consisting of more than 15 series appealing to multiple audiences and advertising categories.

BMW's Series

There are signs that brands are following suit with their efforts to reach online consumers bombarded with ever-proliferating content.

BMW has a new online series called "Alter Egos," Beet TV reports. It features the casual pursuits of celebrities, including Ed Norton, Donna Karan, Tory Burch, Kevin Bacon and jewelry designer David Yurman. It is running on the Plum TV cable network and its website.

Sponsorships are another vehicle for brands that wish to take advantage of the growing popularity of online videos. As one example, Yahoo! en Español recent launched an original sports feature called "La Locura" that is sponsored by Corona Extra.

The feature is a three-minute long segment featuring an offbeat look at funny sporting moments of the week. Yahoo! en Español developed the concept and approached Corona about the sponsorship, Yahoo!'s Armando Rodriguez told MarketingVOX when it launched. "Corona wants to target male Hispanics between the ages of 21 to 34,” Rodriguez says. “This was the perfect opportunity for that as the brand will be organically integrated with the video experience."

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