WILL ARNETT
40 | COFOUNDER, DUMBDUMB


JASON BATEMAN
41 | COFOUNDER, DUMBDUMB

Ever dreamed of seeing Jason Bateman work a pole? You can in "The Dancer," one of a growing series of viral Web shorts the actor recently made with his longtime friend Will Arnett. And what's surprising isn't that Bateman is vamping it up in stripper drag—it's that he's doing it in an ad for Wrigley's Orbit gum. Bateman and Arnett made the short for DumbDumb, which produces Funny or Die–like sketch comedy for paying clients with deep pockets. "We thought that there could be a marriage between commercials and comedic sketches that were traveling virally," Bateman says. He and Arnett didn't invent this Mad TV–meets–Mad Men approach, but by combining the impact of viral video with the enduring star power of cult comic actors, they're positioned to gain a lasting share of the estimated $25 billion online-advertising market. Orbit's tagline, "A good clean feeling, no matter what," inspired the duo's branded-content series "Dirty Shorts," in which the gum is the antidote to filthy situations, like a lecherous high-school teacher (played by Arnett) taking a student to the prom. The videos' rapid spread on Facebook, on Twitter, and in the blogosphere prompted Wrigley to order a new slate of videos and BlackBerry to commission a series from DumbDumb. After just 10 months, Fortune 500 companies are pitching the team "some very flattering opportunities," making the guys behind DumbDumb look very smart. "People are really seeing the financial sense it makes," Bateman says. "And fortunately, Will and I are a couple of guys they don't mind doing business with."

NEXT: Nick Ayers, Executive Director, Republican Governors Association &
Nathan Daschle, Executive Director, Democratic Governors Association

>> RETURN TO THE MAIN PAGE