The HerSay Chronicles

HerSay is hosted by Soleil Moon Frye, of Punky Brewster and, more recently, breast reduction fame. The Web series, backed by Kraft and driven by Mediavest, Digitas and DECA, is meant to bring women a fast rundown of the day’s hot topics. Unfortunately, the promising concept gets bogged down in a lack of substance.

For example, the lead in today’s HerSay was that Lady Gaga ousted Justin Bieber for the celeb with the most Twitter followers. Is this show aimed at tweens or moms? I realize that those aren’t mutually exclusive, but with topics like paparazzi chasing celebrity moms, and an Israeli couple that named their baby “Like,” I feel like I’m watching an online Page Six and not dropping in on a Mommy and Me class. The tagline for HerSay at the end of each episode is, “keeping you in the know on what matters most.” Really? Lady Gaga’s Twitter followers matter most?

What I’m having the hardest time with is balancing the content with the brand’s goals. If I were watching HerSay, thinking of it as a “What’s Hot on Twitter with Punky Brewster,” I’d be giving it two thumbs up. Like Yahoo’s “The Nine,” it delivers quick hits of pop culture, like Ashton Kutcher’s replacement of Charlie Sheen on Two and a Half Men and what Kate Hudson has in store for her second wedding. But as a vehicle for engaging with women and young mothers, I’m just not seeing it.

The integration with Kraft is so cautious to the point of being non-existent. There’s no mention of Kraft or any of its brands in the content that I watched and no product placement either. The pre-roll before each episode, created only for online, is gold. HerSay, though, is a pure content play, but content that is already abundant across the web.

Breaking up the HerSay webisodes into two-minute bites seems like a reasonable idea. However, even the longer, five-minute epsisodes fall short for delivering substance, which is what I’d have thought Kraft would have been after. Even as a single guy, I wanted to hear more than twenty seconds about marriage counseling for new parents, but instead I only got a mention of their existence, followed by Soleil and co-host Jennifer Brandt agreeing that having babies is hard on couples. What exactly are women expected to engage with? Surely, Kraft doesn’t need to create a forum for debating the merits of Gaga vs Bieber.

HerSay is a disappointment, mainly because I’ve come to expect so much from all of the companies involved. They’ve all hit home runs in the past. Kraft’s series of interactive videos for its Philly Cream Cheese brand were fantastic, and also done with Digitas. That had a dynamite host in Paula Deen, a clear link with the brand, and compelling content to boot. HerSay doesn’t.

It’s unclear what the series is — or wants to be. DECA CEO Michael Wayne said in a statement, “Kraft Foods are in every household across the country making them a fantastic and relevant partner for the series.” Plenty of companies have brands all over the house, but I’m not sure that makes them an ideal partner.

Maybe they are still working out the kinks and building a genuine rapport between the hosts that feels less saccherine. As it stands right now, however, HerSay will become internet herstory before too long.

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