The Brilliant Seth MacFarlane

I typed “The Brilliant Seth MacFarlane” into my search engine and 11,000 entries came up. So how brilliant is the creator of Fox’s hit show Family Guy?

Not yet 40 and still looking like he’s about 15, MacFarlane is the highest-paid television writer in Hollywood. But is this what makes him brilliant? No. It’s the fact that he’s helped turn Google AdSense into a hugely successful video distribution network where everyone wins.

Really? Everyone wins? Yes, really. Adam Ostrow from Mashable breaks it down for us: 

  • Publishers get to serve up content that viewers actually want to watch. (No offense, banner ads: I know some of you are very good. Like, um, the ones we do with our good friend, Rich Nadworny from Digalicious.) 
  • Advertisers know they are reaching their target audience.
  • Google gets more data based on how the shows do on different sites.

Ostrow fails to mention the biggest winner of all: the viewer who is treated to MacFarlane’s highly entertaining Cavalcade Webisodes. The two-minute format is perfect. It’s short enough that viewers don’t navigate away, but long enough to include a few ads.

But here’s what’s truly unique. MacFarlane creates the ads too – all in his own style. (Check out a nunchuck-wielding William Shatner shill for Priceline.) The ads are so entertaining you don’t even realize you’re being sold to. It just feels like more great content.

Sneaky? I don’t know, maybe. Brilliant. Oh, yes.

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2 replies
  1. Jake says:

    Great article Anna! I too admire Seth MacFarlane for reasons other than his sense of humor (which is truly brilliant). I love that his entire show can be cut into 1 to 2 minute segments that stand on their own. Perfect for emailing/downloading… I’m waiting for other shows to follow this format. So far he’s worth about 2 billion… Now whose paying the bills? Hollywood Kid!

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