As part of The Onion’s ongoing quest to satire the inanity of culture and media, the fake-news site has tapped an arena that might be unknown to those outside the TV and advertising industries, but is ripe for parody. This week, The Onion’s YouTube channel features a fake Upfront presentation reel for the Onion Digital Studios, or as they call it, "the Number One Network in the World."
Among the "tantalizing programming that plays seamlessly into the desire of our viewers" is Voight Hunters, a reality competition show about people on the hunt for actor Jon Voight. And they conduct that hunt in a Dodge Dart.
Dodge is the sole advertiser on The Onion’s YouTube channel, and this is the car company’s first foray into branded content on the site. In the 1960s and '70s, the Dart was a dependable, well-selling sedan; it was phased out in 1976 but has been relaunched for 2013. This time around the Dart is using savvy humor to hunt for millennials—in much the way those contestants are hunting for Jon Voight.
The Voight Hunters segment mocks the way reality TV shows shamelessly promote products, but the line between mocking and advertising reality is indeed a thin one. Says the nameless host, “The Dodge Dart is perfectly designed to find Voight safely and quickly, using the latest in vehicle technology.”