The show, which features celebrities sitting for interviews with host Sean Evans while both eat chicken wings coated with sauces of a steadily increasing spice level, will have a 12-week run on the Snapchat Discover Page. New episodes will launch every Thursday morning. The re-tooled, Snap-tailored version will incorporate exclusive elements into the interviews.
A range of guests, including Michael B. Jordan, Charlize Theron, DJ Khaled, Ricky Gervais, Bryan Cranston, Wanda Sykes and Kevin Hart, have appeared on the show, whose 100-plus episodes have racked up 375 million views. Today’s premiere features Johnny Knoxville.
“Hot Ones has built an incredibly loyal following because it turns the typical celebrity interview show on its head, giving fans unvarnished and often hilarious interactions as they eat spicy wings,” said Myles O’Connell, SVP Global Content Distribution for Complex Networks. “We’re thrilled to partner with Snapchat and create an experience specifically for their platform that will satisfy hardcore fans and those just discovering the show.”
For Complex, the show is also an example of a merchandising opportunity, a revenue stream the company has also pursued through other lifestyle programming and live events. In 2016, Hot Ones introduced its first bottled hot sauce, Hot Ones Fiery Chipotle. In 2017, the show added another sauce, The Last Dab, selling out its initial run in 90 seconds, the company said. Two more sauces are on the way this summer.
The Complex teaming comes as Snapchat parent Snap Inc. has been fine-tuning Discover. Launched in 2015, the initiative has offered many media brands a way to reach the social network’s valuable young user base. NBCUniversal, for example, got 81 million views during February’s Winter Olympics, helping expose advertisers to a key young demo. And ESPN, Discovery and Fox are among many traditional brands continuing to invest in the platform. But Snap execs have talked about their efforts to reconcile the content produced by brands with user-generated content shared among friends.