After threatened lawsuits between the creators and postponed launch dates, BET.com has finally announced November 24th as the date of their first ever web based video series. The series entitled “Buppies”, which was first announced in October of 2008, is the tale of LA’s young black professional elite, though the eyes of Quinci Adams, played by Tatiyana Ali, a 26 year-old publicist. The story follows Qunci and her friends as they navigate the ups and downs of Hollywood. The series is slated for 10 episodes over 10 weeks.
A black focused webisode, isn’t exactly a brand new idea. If you recall, Essence tried their hand at producing a webisode more than 2 years ago “30 Dates in 30 Days”. But unlike Essence’s attempt, which focused on reality TV buffs, BET’s Buppies brings a professional cast and a “Sex in the City”-like plot, to a very large and very strong internet savvy audience that has made shows like the Real Housewives of Atlanta the talk of most Entertainment Blogs.
Ultimately Buppies success will be determined by BET’s willingness to invest the money, time, and efforts into the technologies to make marketing the series more viral. And if the Buppies main site is any indication of BET’s efforts, then the prognosis is grim. Completely overlooking the fact that the page has November 3rd, as the show’s premiere date, and that the site only gives a very bare synopsis of the characters, my biggest problem is with the lack of use of social media to market the show. The site’s first “Sneak Peek” video, which BTW is shorter and less exciting than the commercial preceding it, is embeddable which is a step in the right direction, but the page has absolutely no way to easily send the information to my Facebook, Twitter and Myspace pages. The site also includes a standalone game which determines which Buppie best represents you, but unfortunately it also misses out on the possible viral impact of the results being included in game participants Facebook News Feed. With that being said how does a site about Buppies not have the fundamental social networking capabilities used by Buppies around the world?
Now to be completely fair, my comments may be a bit premature, since the first show hasn’t officially been released yet, but with 5 days left until the launch, it looks like BET’s got some work to do. Until then, you all can share your feedback in the comments, and take the poll we’ve included below.
CORRECTION: The updated web address has been corrected. The correct site includes accurate information relating to the show including an premier date of November 24, 2009.
[poll id="9"]Category: Featured, Social Web | Tags: BET, buppies, web series, webisode