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The Brony Thank You Fund debuts its homemade video tonight on The Hub.
A commercial that was filmed, produced, and paid for by bronies—adult fans of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic—airs in prime time tonight.
The 30-second commercial, which premieres during The Hub’s Family Movie Night block, features adult and child fans of the show thanking Hasbro and The Hub for creating a show they enjoy. Bronies fundraised more than $16,000 to film and air the ad.
James Turner, the project’s organizer, said this is the first time he’s heard of a fandom buying its own commercial. His pioneering effort came with unique challenges.
“Producing the ad frequently felt like an uphill battle,” he said. “We had to struggle to work with companies that weren’t geared to handle our kind of project, fight the inherent cynicism of the Internet, overcome logistical headaches, and generally do things on a shoestring without making the end product look shoddy.”
At first, Turner’s ad was met with backlash from the very bronies who would benefit from it. Many accused early drafts of the ad of being too self-serving toward bronies, hijacking the show from its primary demographic—kids—and acting as a positive PR campaign for the fandom.
“This is nothing but an ego trip,” wrote earl.sanchez730 back in May. “Apparently most of you are so desperate for attention you feel that you all need to have a fancy commercial just to say that bronies don’t suck… I say we just use this money for something more selfless than this.”
Turner counters by pointing out that the commercial features several children as well as adult fans, only mentions the word “bronies” once at the end, and encourages viewers to donate to Toys for Tots if they like the show.
“I always knew that once people saw the ad, much of the pessimism and worries would dissipate, but the outpouring of positive feedback I’ve personally received has made all the travails along the way worthwhile,” Turner said. “We’ve made a little bit of history, and done good on multiple levels.
“I don’t think you can ask for more than that.”
The ad will air nine more times on The Hub this month.
Screengrab via YouTube
Lauren Rae Orsini is a web culture reporter who specializes in anime and the business of fandom. Her work has been published by Forbes and Business Insider.