Product Placement Research

Nielsen Media Research Wednesday released the findings of a study showing a high correlation between the two types of TV brand exposures. The top line finding touted by Nielsen was that more than half (57.5%) of viewers recognized a brand when viewing a product placement in combination with a commercial. That's considerably higher than the 46.6% of viewers who recognized a brand when exposed only to a TV commercial for that brand.

The study, which was conducted in conjunction with 14 charter subscribers, including Magna Global, MediaCom, OMD, PHD, Zenith Media, and a variety of TV networks, was touted as the "largest of its kind," spanning a nine-month period between October 2005 and June 2006. However, the study was not based on live TV viewing, but on the results of more than 10,000 people who screened programs containing commercials and product placements at a Nielsen testing facility in Las Vegas.

The findings are likely to spark a new round of debates on how to measure the effectiveness of product placements and on how to determine the best way to plan them with conventional TV commercials and other forms of advertising.

- Joe Mandese, Thursday, Nov 16, 2006


Did Heroes Go Too Far?

How do you know if a product placement is successful? Well, we leave that to your own internal metrics, goals and analysis. Sorry, there are no simple answers, but of course, feel free to peruse the Magnetic Alliance blog for the best and worst of product placement and promotions.

Today, we turn our attention to a funny and interesting legal story developing on NBC's surpise hit, "Heroes".

NBC has been sued by a garbage disposal maker that claims the network’s new hit show, “Heroes,” casts its product in a negative light.

The first episode of “Heroes” shows one of the characters, a cheerleader who has the power of indestructibility, sticking her hand into a garbage disposal, getting it mangled. A few seconds later her hand heals. The brand name of the machine, InSinkErator, is visible in the scene.

Emerson Electric was not happy with the inadvertent product placement, and sued NBC Universal in federal court in St. Louis on October 2, 2006.

Emerson claims that NBC used Emerson’s trademark without the company’s consent and that the show “implies an incorrect and dangerous design for a food waste disposer.” The company added in its complaint that NBC’s depiction of the InSinkErator “casts the disposer in an unsavory light, irreparably tarnishing the product.” It is asking the court to order NBC to remove Emerson trademarks from future broadcasts of the show and also reward Emerson damages as a result of NBC’s acts of “unfair competition, trademark infringement, and trademark dilution.”

NBC says it will edit the episode. “While we do not believe there is any legal issue with the episode as originally broadcast, we nonetheless have decided to edit the episode for future uses,” said an NBC spokesperson in a statement. Presumably, that means rebroadcasts on NBC’s sister cable networks like USA and Sci Fi, broadband viewings (the show is available on iTunes), and any DVD release of the first season and possible syndication.

The story and information is compliments of Manatt


On the Set with James Bond

Check out the latest commercial- "Waiter" for TV, internet and cinema, now showing on It features Eva Green from the film - with her Heineken mission and is filmed on the actual Bond film set. Very cool stuff!

It is also the only time that lead Bond actors feature in a brand advertising campaign linked to Casino Royale. In addition to the appearance of Eva Green, in character and costume as Vesper Lynd, the original Bond themed music is featured in the Heineken commercial.

Brand Placement in the New York Times

The article in today's New York Times highlights many of the exciting things that are happening in our industry. From advertisers custom webisodes to tv integrations to BudTV. If I had to give an alien interested in entertainment marketing one article to would be this one.

Brands Produce Their Own Shows - By LOUISE STORY

Marketers have found a new way to try to keep viewers from tuning out: offer them TV shows, movies and online programming created by the marketers themselves, often with help from their advertising agencies.

These new offerings, the marketers hope, will be entertaining enough to endear viewers to the brands behind them.

Burger King, for example, is making a feature-length film that may star — no surprise here — the “King” character of its ad campaign. Office Max recently created a show on the ABC Family channel. Anheuser-Busch plans to start a seven-channel TV network online, called BudTV.

“It’s the exploration of sort of a new world,” said Doug Powell, chief integrator of Maiden Lane, an advertising agency. “Clients would love to have a way for customers to be able to participate with their brands more often and not have to rely on the traditional media world.”

Marketers have become alarmed as consumers increasingly bypass commercials using digital video recorders like TiVo, and spend more time flipping among a wide array of television networks, Internet sites and video games.

These companies are by no means giving up on traditional advertising — rather, they are simply adding to their marketing strategies. “What we’re trying to do is find new ways to continue to be relevant to teens and to young adults,” said Vic Walia, the senior brand manager for Snickers, a Mars brand that created an online show called “Instant Def” with its agency BBDO New York, part of the Omnicom Group.

The “Instant Def” home page looks like a video game for teenagers. Four hip-hop performers — played by actual hip-hop stars, Fergie, Taboo and — pose in front of a gritty urban scene. A fluorescent Snickers sign blinks atop a tower in the background. A Snickers factory played a vital role in the first episode, when a candy-mix explosion gave the stars superhero powers.

So far, about one million people have visited, where the five episodes are available.

Advertiser-produced content — often called branded content — is a nascent trend. Companies commonly pay to place their products in TV shows and movies, but only a few dozen have created content from scratch. About 25 national companies produced online films this year, up from 5 last year, said Matt Wasserlauf, chief executive of Broadband Enterprises, a New York company that helps companies like Warner Brothers and AT&T circulate their videos on the Internet.

On TV, only a handful of such shows and movies have been shown. The cable networks MTV, ABC Family and TNT have run shows created by advertisers. Other networks, including broadcast networks, say they have been approached by advertisers pitching shows, but have not run any.

Advertisers say they are prepared to give the shows to networks free or in exchange for commercial air time; such offers could appeal to networks looking to control costs. But some network executives voiced skepticism that advertiser-created shows would draw much audience and said, for now, they do not expect to run many of the programs.

“The networks are reluctant to give their programming air over to advertiser-funded content,” said Guy McCarter, the director of branded entertainment at OMD. “If the TV marketplace softens, then I think there’s going to be more receptivity.”

Part of the reason more advertiser shows are put on cable, ad executives said, is that cable networks often feature shows on niche topics that appeal to specific types of customers. Procter & Gamble’s show, “Home Made Simple,” based on home-making tips available on the company’s online magazine, is on TLC, for example.

When Office Max decided it wanted to produce a show, company officials approached Disney because they had already committed themselves to advertise on Disney networks. Disney put the program, a reality show about preteenagers getting ready for high school, on ABC Family. On TV, about one million households watched the show, which featured several Office Max products. It was viewed more than six million times online.

William Bonner, a spokesman for Office Max, said the show gave viewers “content they could appreciate and interact with more than a 30-second commercial.”

ABC Family worked with Office Max and its ad agency DDB Chicago in developing the show, but “Schooled” was largely driven by Office Max and its agency’s vision, said David Rolfe, production director of content for DDB Chicago. Laura Nathanson, executive vice president for ad sales at ABC Family, said “Schooled” was a special case, and the cable network did not have immediate plans to do more shows with advertisers.

“We’re in the business of original production,” Ms. Nathanson said. “Anything that’s going to go on our air, we’re going to shepherd.”

Shows and movies on Turner Entertainment “first and foremost have to fit our brand,” said Linda Yaccarino, executive vice president for ad sales and marketing at Turner, which recently ran a series of mini-shows on TNT that were produced with Chase Card Services, which is part of J. P. Morgan Chase.

Advertisers are also making movies. Nike has produced several, including a documentary on CBS about Lance Armstrong’s training for the Tour de France. Grey Goose paid for a six-part documentary that ran on the Sundance Channel and featured pairs of stars like Robert Redford and Paul Newman chatting. In both cases, the companies’ brands were not emphasized.

Last December, Mountain Dew, a PepsiCo brand, produced a movie about snowboarding that ran in theaters nationwide. Though Mountain Dew produced the movie, the soft drink was not featured in the film and only “MD Films” appeared in the opening credits. Mountain Dew and PepsiCo were thanked in the closing credits, but viewers had to be in the know to associate the movie with Mountain Dew.

Nicole Bradley, a PepsiCo spokeswoman, said the approach worked well. “Focusing on product placement would have only been a distraction,” she added.

The line between commercialization and entertainment is a tricky one, ad executives said. Before a Unilever-produced show called “The Gamekillers” was shown on MTV last spring, the network promoted it as a TV show and Unilever held off running ads related to the show. Only after the show ran were characters from it included in ads for Unilever’s Axe deodorant, said John Shea, executive vice president for integrated marketing and brand partnerships at MTV. “The last thing anyone of us wanted was for the show to feel that it was, in fact, an ad,” Mr. Shea said.

Ad executives say they expect more TV networks to accept their shows. BBDO North America is creating two shows it will pitch to networks, including a 13-episode series, said Brian DiLorenzo, the executive director of content. “Brands have potential to be good characters,” Mr. DiLorenzo said.

But persuading TV networks involves a bit of “arm wrestling,” said Jon Kamen, chief executive at, which produces films and TV shows for advertisers. “It’s critically important that the broadcast networks and cable embrace this shift now rather than resist it,” he contended, adding they must be wary of forcing “advertisers to go elsewhere — because there is elsewhere to go.”

Anheuser-Busch is investing heavily in creating content. The beer company, known for its funny commercials, plans to put online a seven-channel televisionlike network called BudTV in February. It will feature reality shows, comedy skits, sports programs and user-generated content.

“If we do it right, then we’re going to have a pretty attractive demographic group,” said Anthony T. Ponturo, vice president for global media and sports marketing for Anheuser-Busch.

Ad executives said BudTV might be attractive to other advertisers as well.

“If BudTV can garner the right audience relative to that male 24 to 32 middle-income demographic in flyover states, there will be other advertisers that are going to want to reach that audience,” said Doug Scott, executive director for branded content and entertainment at Ogilvy North America.

Networks, magazines and sports associations like the N.F.L. have already approached Anheuser-Busch to talk about partnerships, Mr. Ponturo said. BudTV’s content, though, will “serve one master,” Mr. Ponturo said, “and that’s ourselves and our brands.”

The Ford Motor Company is filming a documentary tracking its effort to turn itself around, and is showing the film online. Since it began appearing in June, a million unique visitors have visited the Web site, said Whitney E. Drake, a Ford spokeswoman.

Consumer brand companies have been using the Internet to promote their messages through their own online magazines and blogs for several years. “The advertiser has a direct link to the consumer now,” said Nick Law, the chief creative officer at R/GA, at the Boards Summit in New York last week. “They don’t have to use an agency or production company.”

The next online phenomenon could be created by a consumer brand company, said David Droga, creative chairman of Droga5. Online hits “don’t have to be brought out by people in a garage,” he said.

It is unclear, of course, if advertisers will be able to produce shows that will hold consumer attention. “We are living in a world now where it’s harder and harder to capture somebody’s undivided attention,” said Linda Kaplan Thaler, chief executive for Kaplan Thaler Group.

Ms. Kaplan Thaler recently created a campaign for Dawn that included online shows, traditional commercials, a contest, and Ellen DeGeneres as a celebrity spokeswoman. She said advertisers had to do it all these days. “Ubiquity is the new exclusivity,” she said.


A Product Placement Agency for YouTube?

We found this great post on ZDNet. Worth the read:

But for those You Tube video creators who might want to make some cash, I have a business idea that could work.

Someone-ideally a new media ad agency but maybe a dedicated service that would place products in You Tube posts of YT creators who would be fine with that notion?

Here's how this would work. Agency solicits clients who want their product(s) featured. The same agency assesses applications from YT content creators who would be willing to participate.

As part of the application process, the creator's historical YT views patterns would be assessed.

Then, if a contract is struck and the product included in the video, a threshold, or "floor" number of views would be established. If this floor- say 5,000 views a day- is exceeded, the agency- through the advertiser- would pay the content creator or producer. YOuTube (or Google, once the acquisition of YT is complete) should be cut in as well. Heck, it is their servers, you know.

In tern, the content creator would get a percentage of that payment.

I know you purists out there who hate most product placements will spurn the idea.

But if all parties are willing, doesn't this idea make sense?


The Special Sauce

One of our favorite people is teaming up with the Food Network. No, its not a trendy chef or a classic television personality but instead a Philly musician.

G Love is sharing his "special sauce" with the Food Networks audience and is partnering to promote his new album "Lemonade". You can buy lemonade, learn how to make lemonade or just experience G Loves passion for music and cooking.

We love this partnership because it is so unexpected, but it seems to make both G Love's brand and the Food Network's brand bigger.

Check it out here


What is Product Placement?

We asked some of Magnetic Alliance's favorite producers and marketers for some thoughts:

Product placement is hot.
Product placement is "so yesterday".
Product placement makes money
Product placement makes brands relevant.
Product placement makes brands feel that they are no longer just a brand.

Magnetic Alliance believes that product placement is a term that needs to evolve with the industry. It needs to be more than placement. It needs to be more than product. It needs to be an alliance based on a viewer's passions.

American Express "gets" product placement. Every TiVo addict understands that American Express means access - access to future Lost scenes or Prison Break. The ability to use their card product (for membership access) in a meaningful way to connect with a targeted and passionate audience.

Maybe product placement means nothing more than entertaining people with your product. Or maybe product placement is just a term as overused as "advertising".


YouTube Owes it All to the Boys of SNL

Wow! Can you believe how much those founders of YouTube just made.

That's a ton of cash!! A lot more than those groups of lottery winners pull in...combined.

The one news article that we hasn't surfaced is the branded content event that really put the brand on the map. Remember "Lazy Sunday"?

Watch it and learn how a brand can organically create an online hurricane. The clip starts with "an SNL Digital Short" card. This is how you make your brand relevant - and make the founders of YouTube some serious dough.


ABC Integration

WPP'S GROUPM is co-producing "October Road" with Touchstone Television for ABC. The show focuses on a famous novelist who returns to his hometown.

Group M will get an undisclosed amount of ad time--not necessarily in this show--but across other ABC prime-time programs. For ABC, the deal takes a certain amount of first-quarter scatter prime-time inventory out of sale, which helps to tighten any potential soft marketplace. For GroupM, it helps secure first-quarter inventory for its clients at a pre-arranged price level.

Two years ago, MindShare Worldwide, a GroupM agency, fully financed and produced the six-episode series "The Days" for ABC. ABC and MindShare each owned half of the inventory in the series. MindShare clients, such as Sears Roebuck and Unilever, owned the ad inventory in the summer series.

But unlike that deal, neither MindShare or other GroupM clients have as yet made a deal for inventory or for an equity stake in the show, says Rino Scanzoni, chief investment officer of GroupM's media agency, Mediaedge:cia.
"This deal is independent of our clients," says Scanzoni. "It makes it less risky for them." In addition, as opposed to other advertiser or agency deals for TV shows, the deal in no way was tied to any branded entertainment or product-placement deal components.

"We are not telling ABC that they have to put certain products in the show," says Scanzoni, who adds that there are plenty of other places where clients can secure product placement and branded-entertainment deals.
While the GroupM's approach--versus MindShare's deal with "The Days"--limits risks, clients can choose to come on board for the show later. "If we are successful, then we can make our asset available to them," Scanzoni says.


Did Amex Get Lost? Or Get Lost?

Amex's Lost Opportunity
By Cory Treffiletti

This television season has seen quite a bit more references to the Internet than ever before, as the networks are finally starting to understand the concept of supporting their core programming with interactive supplements. But I'm still surprised at the lag in thinking when these models are applied.

Let's take "Lost," for example. Last week was the season premiere and I paid close attention, with a very keen eye, intent on identifying every little detail that might help me understand the episode and be able to develop new theories as to what was actually going on. I was certainly not disappointed with the show, until of course the very end when there was a mention of visiting, which was being sponsored by American Express. The ad stated that if I went over to the site, and if I was an American Express cardholder, that I would be able to unlock footage, decipher inside meanings, and supplement my "Lost" viewing experience.

As any avid fan would have done, I went to the site immediately after the episode instead of visiting the Lost Forums on other sites, usually my first stops after the show. The experience I had with the site was poor at best. When I linked through to the site, I discovered a message that stated I should "come back tomorrow to unlock valuable content," or something like that--I'm paraphrasing. Doesn't anyone know the Internet is an immediacy medium? If you tell me I have to wait, chances are you've lost me!

As a marketer, I had high aspirations for the Amex sponsorship. I was quite impressed by the idea of supplementing the viewing experience and how Amex was sponsoring this unique content. I knew from the last two seasons that half the fun of "Lost" is venturing to the Web to see what everyone else saw and what I may have missed or didn't pick up on in my first viewing. However, I was completely let down by the experience, more than a little bummed that such a great idea on paper was executed with such flaws.

I did venture back to the site the next day and was equally unimpressed with what I discovered. Though I thought the login feature for cardholders was great, the content I found was not. The site rehashed the obvious elements from the show, so I spent about four minutes there, total. Conversely I visited the Lost Forums on another site and proceeded to waste slightly under an hour reading through the theories, fantasies and postulations of the audience, amazed at how much time some of these people seemingly have to have discovered what they did.

The Forums are about immediacy and in-depth analysis. The sponsorship for Amex could be about the same thing if the company understood the most basic tenet of the Web: a click or a visit signals a request for immediate information. By asking me to visit and to "come back later," you are risking my attention and wasting my valuable time.

I still have high hopes for the Amex sponsorship, as I am guessing it lasts the remainder of the season. I hope that Amex unlocks this content immediately and learns the lessons from this wasted effort.


The Entertainment Integration Pyramid

How much should I pay for entertainment? For product placement? For promotions?

The answer is clearly…(hold on)….unanswerable.

It’s like asking how much you should pay to make a movie like “Titanic”. You can make “Titanic” with the video recorder on your Moto cell phone, a few neighbors and a bathtub...or you can make a multi-million dollar replica of the boat, the jewel, and the disaster. Hey, it cost James Cameron $200 million dollars to make his version of the “Titanic” but he did make over $1.9 billion at the box office.

So how should you spend your shareholders’ money on entertainment?

Think of integration, favorability, promotion, and press as all critical components of our industry’s pyramid. You need each component to build the perfect pyramid. Everything else…doesn’t matter.

Integration: Although Magnetic Alliance has been responsible for literally hundreds of on screen integrations, we continue to reinforce to our clients that it is not the integration that drives success. It is everything that connects the integration to product (or service) sales. Does seeing an iPod in a Tuesday television show make you want to buy it? How many cars have you seen on screen? Is the fact that your favorite Jersey mafia man drive a Chevy make you want to buy a Chevy? But, integration is clearly critical to activating your successful partnership. It is truly the foundation of each one of your strategies so be sure to not end your partnership on-screen.

Favorability: Favorability, association, character marketing, etc., are all integration strategies that play a significant role in changing your consumer’s perspectives on your brand. How you employ them to drive sales is the key. Now take that same Jersey mafia man, and think about him buying his lovely wife a new SUV. Now, the key is his reason why he is doing his action. Is he buying it to get in his wife’s good graces? Or is he buying it because he has a good deal. The power of favorability is often the hardest part of the deal to activate as it relies on script integration. If you can, try to start your partnership early, so the writers and producers understand your dream favorability scenario.

Promotion: A direct driver of sales! Promotion connects the integration and the favorability while giving consumers a “reason” to buy now. Simple promotional execution…get exclusive content from our brand now. Get a deal just because you like the content or the characters. Get a deal because this product is now “special”. Imagine the Jersey mafia guy giving you a special code to get a great deal on that perfect HDTV. Maybe it “fell off the back of a truck”. Make the deal mean something to the consumer by enabling them to experience the product.

Press: The top of the pyramid. Never do a deal without figuring out how the story can best be told. And of course, how you are going to share your story with not only your boss, consumers and partners but also with your employees. No one does this better than NASCAR. They know that sponsors’ love to show off their auto sponsorships to their employees. Show off your entertainment strategy to everything. Even if it is a series of movie passes, special internal website or unique promotion, you can truly make all of your stakeholders bigger fans of your brand.


The ABC's of Advertising Product Placement

We are often asked, as experts in this field, how can media and advertising agencies get the most for their clients in the world of entertainment marketing, product placement and promotions. Well, the answer is both very simple and very complex. we go:

Q) How to find content that is best suited for your client and feel confident that you can make a deal that will be worth your time?

A) Overcommit to managing your client's expectations and do your best to work with your client on several projects at a time. The content production business is too unpredictable for an agency to risk their "capital" on a single project as good deals often fall apart for the most unforeseen reasons. So instead, use a system like Magnetic Alliance to find and select a range of content opportunities that fit your client's objectives. And most importantly, use hard facts and don't get seduced by the bright lights of Hollywood.

Q) How do you know which content is right?

A) The best you can do is to match your brand/product creative objectives and target demographic with those of entertainment content. For example, a flower delivery service's creative brief may match-up well with the "chick-flick" positioned "organizing a wedding can be difficult, help me make it simple" inherent theme in an upcoming "License To Wed" film from Warner Bros. Just about every creative brief can be well-matched to an upcoming project within film, TV, gaming, music and other pop culture content.

Q) How do we best work with content providers such as film studios?

A) Know what you bring to the table, and be prepared to commit to a deal early. Nothing is worse than spending your time and theirs on a program only to realize that you don't have the support from your client to make it happen. And take a really hard look at what your client has to offer. Remember, studios are not in the business of generating revenues through product placement fees, they are in the business of content distribution. For them, IT'S ALL ABOUT BUTTS IN SEATS, AND SUBSEQUENT DVDS OUT THE DOOR. For you, it's all about influencing the purchasing behavior of your target customers. They want access to a brand's measured media as well as direct mail and other promotional support to help raise their opening weekend and DVD sales numbers. And you want to leverage the equity of their content along with the endorsement of their celebrity, to drive your product out the door. Just consider their perspective, on a $50MM film budget with a $20MM marketing spend, what's more beneficial, a brand writing a $200K check for product placement fee, or committing $5MM in media that's a 25% bump to the studio's original spend? And remember, it's media dollars that your client was spending anyway, not an incremental increase.

Why We in Product Placement Need to Start Acting Like Google

“RELEVANCY” is the key to entertainment integration. You can target your placements to your favorite shows and characters, but the true win in placements is the relevancy your brand has with the content. The article below summarized the eternal debate between relevancy and targeting and the reason Google is worth billions.

So don’t just target your placements because it makes sense…connect your brand with partners that makes it relevant. Think of all the greatest successes in our industry: James Bond and BMW, Tom Cruise and Ray Ban, even Coca Cola and American Idol. They all make sense…the characters fit the brands, the brands fit the content thematic and they all live in targeted content. So, do what Google does…focus first on relevancy and then address the targeting.

Brand Advertising and Google: Relevancy vs. Targeting
by Joe Marchese, Monday, Sep 25, 2006 6:00 AM ET
THE RECENT SES CONFERENCE IN San Jose included a panel called "Meet the Search Ad Networks." The panelists seemed to have broad ideas about the identity of their ad networks, which is likely why Emily White of Google recommended that the panel simply be called "Meet the Ad Networks," citing the increasing number of media (including radio, print, etc.) and advertisement types distributed by the companies represented on the panel.

First and foremost is the issue of targeting versus relevancy. When an audience member asked if Google would continue to provide highly targeted advertising opportunities over the new mediums served, the response was: "Targeting has always been, and will continue to be, a basic tenet for Google." We all know that targeting is important, but the core of what Google provides is relevancy--namely, relevancy of search results and relevancy of advertisements.

There are infinite reasons why Google has been successful, but the most basic is that it has always focused first on relevancy. This has allowed the company to capitalize on the concept that ads are actually part of the content, not simply a negative externality. Ads served with search results on Google are in some cases more valuable to the searcher than organic results. Ads served by Google on a publisher's Web page add value to the publisher's content through relevancy.

What exactly does relevancy mean? It means that value is added to all members of the advertising ecosystem. The user receives value, the publisher receives value, and ultimately, the advertiser receives value--although none of them have complete control over the process. The question remains; how can you apply this to brand advertisements?

The proposed distribution methods for brand advertisements across vast publisher networks revolve mostly around site targeting and demographic targeting. This is because contextual relevancy/distribution does not apply to brand advertisements in the same way that it applies to transactional advertisements.

Ads on television are 30-second spots between content. Ads online are part of the content. Even more so than on television, online page content "bleeds" onto the brand ad, and in turn the content of the brand ad "bleeds" onto the page. Allowing the advertiser to target gives too much and not enough control at the same time. It says "forget if this is going to add to or detract from the user experience.."

Media Buyers May Become Product Placement Buyers

According to the PQ Media Global Product Placement Forecast 2006, global paid product placement spending surged 42.2% to $2.21 billion in 2005 with double-digit growth expected to continue in 2006 and beyond. Product placement spending in TV, film and other media is expected to climb another 38.8% to $3.07 billion in 2006, driven by the continued shift toward a paid placement structure from a barter and added-value model.

The US is by far the world's largest paid product placement market at $1.50 billion in 2005, up 48.7%. Additionally, in 2005:

Brazil ranks second with paid placement spending at $285.3 million
Australia at $104.3 million
France ranks fourth
Japan, fifth


Product placement is going non-profit

"The Wine Makers" on PBS is a battle among 12 individuals for the chance to launch their own label and will find a home on-air in 2007. However, the producers will need to secure 350-plus public-television stations, since the national PBS arm isn't involved.

Top-tier sponsors are being offered a five- to 15-second spot before and after the half-hour show. So far, Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance, which promotes wine produced on California's central coast, is onboard. Producers are searching for up to three other marketers.

The sponsorship model for "The Wine Makers" is reflective of the new PBS. The network has traditionally relied on underwriters and image advertisers, but with funding sources drying up and competition from cable--for viewers and differentiated content--intensified, bottom-line considerations are key. Pre- and post-roll spots are gaining traction as the inveterate "brought to you by" tags may be losing steam.
Plans call for the eight-episode series to begin with 12 contestants--which will be trimmed to nine in the first episode, and then to six in the next.

The six finalists will then battle it out over the remaining six episodes. The contestants will live together like other reality series, and a rotation of judges specializing in different aspects of the wine business will make the cuts on each episode. Contestants will be tested on the soup-to-nuts of the wine business, from vintage conception to sales and marketing. Producers hope that an insider's view of the industry will be an additional attraction to the competition.
The winning label will be distributed at Whole Foods stores and via

Money is Moving to Entertainment

The 2006 edition of the Communications Industry Forecast being released this week by Veronis Suhler Stevenson, states that branded entertainment, event marketing and experiential marketing - have emerged as the fastest growing segment of the media economy, outpacing advertising.

At Magnetic Alliance we see firsthand how marketers have changed their definition of media by expanding beyond traditional formats into branded content and product placement. Clearly more clients are seeing the benefits of aligning their brands with entertainment content in every media.

"A lot of the marketing services sectors in the new marketing area are really targeted toward the 18- to 34-year-old. That's where we see the growth in dollars really going forward," says Leo Kivijarv, vice president-research at PQ Media, which helped VSS compile the report. Kivijarv says the new "vehicles" include things like "guerilla marketing, word-of-mouth, experiential media, branded entertainment, product placement and some of the smaller things like mobile marketing and webisodes."


Wow. GoldenPalace really really gets it. Check out this video for “Lose Control” to see product placement at its best.

Who is the star behind the video? The one and only K-Fed. That’s Mr. Spears for all of you who don’t read US magazine.

In the video, which has been viewed over 250,000 times on YouTube, there is a sudden close up shot midway through the video of a dancer wearing a t-shirt. An online casino in a rap video. You got to give it to GoldenPalace for the interesting and bizarre factor on this one.


In today’s AdAge, there is a great article on Warner Bros entering the content creation and ownership business. The move by one of the original “content creators” and called ‘Studio 2.0” is being helmed by award-winning ad-industry veteran Rich Rosenthal, who has spent years at Young & Rubicam.

Studio 2.0 will draw from Warner Bros. resources, including on-air and behind-the-camera talent, and Mr. Rosenthal will act as a sort of talent scout. "We view this as a natural extension of what we do every day as content creators, and we're adapting to the digital environment," said Bruce Rosenblum, president of Warner Bros. Television Group. "Since advertisers were intimately involved in the early days of television, it makes sense for them to be involved in this arena, too."

There's no deal in place, but logic suggests programming could be distributed on sibling AOL, and licensed to websites and wireless providers. There's no blueprint for how the partnerships will work, Mr. Rosenblum said, nor is there a business model for financing the programming, though it's expected marketers will help foot the bill through sponsorships, integration fees or co-financing.
In today’s AdAge, there is a great article on Warner Bros entering the content creation and ownership business. The move by one of the original “content creators” and called ‘Studio 2.0” is being helmed by award-winning ad-industry veteran Rich Rosenthal, who has spent years at Young & Rubicam.

Studio 2.0 will draw from Warner Bros. resources, including on-air and behind-the-camera talent, and Mr. Rosenthal will act as a sort of talent scout. "We view this as a natural extension of what we do every day as content creators, and we're adapting to the digital environment," said Bruce Rosenblum, president of Warner Bros. Television Group. "Since advertisers were intimately involved in the early days of television, it makes sense for them to be involved in this arena, too."

There's no deal in place, but logic suggests programming could be distributed on sibling AOL, and licensed to websites and wireless providers. There's no blueprint for how the partnerships will work, Mr. Rosenblum said, nor is there a business model for financing the programming, though it's expected marketers will help foot the bill through sponsorships, integration fees or co-financing.


General Motors Votes Itself "Off the Island"

GM has decided to yank its advertising for the program's upcoming new season. A GM spokesperson said this decision was made around three months ago and that it was not based on the format of the new season which determines its four tribes based on racial lines. GM further stated that sponsoring Survivor just doesn't fit the automaker's business objectives any longer, as it was hard to market automobiles on an island setting. Recent controversy about the show's planned segregation has been leveled at CBS and Survivor creator, Mark Burnett.

Sponsoring controversial programming has always been a hot button for our brand partners but integrating a brand into a show that segregates contestants is clearly a dangerous business decision. However, this decision was probably made in the upfront before the show content had been decided.

Let's see what the viewers decide.


The successful implementation of “Character Marketing” can help marketers minimize their entertainment integration risks while maximizing their success potential.

Why? Because there is no guarantee of “expected success” on any entertainment project.

For example, “Snakes on a Plane” had huge word-of-mouth buzz but didn’t deliver at the box office. Who would have known that Mel Gibson’s (ha ha ha) “Passion of the Christ” would have been one of the biggest movies ever? Could you have predicted that “Titanic” would have grossed over $1.8 billion or that “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” would make Windex into a celebrity product?

So what can marketers do to protect their investments (investments = $$, time, resources, company standing & ego)?

They can pick projects with characters and themes that fit their marketing strategies. For example, in our last post we discussed how GAP and Pepsi have aligned themselves with stars from the hit HBO show, “Entourage”. So, hypothetically, if the show was a flop….the character’s attitude, looks and fashion would still be of value to the brand.

In another example, Will Ferrell’s character in the NASCAR themed “Taladega Nights” is featured in Sprint stores (if Will likes the phone, we’re sure you will like it too). Life-sized cutouts of Will are sure to sell a phone or two right? The fact that he also took his “character marketing” onto the late night talk circuit is a testament to his relationship/deal with these marketing partners. His branded race suit is a great illustration of using star power before audiences have their box office vote.

Sam Waterston has taken his good-guy persona from “Law & Order” to pitch TD Waterhouse. The fact that his “character marketing” brand has meant so much to his loyal audience is not lost on the trading company’s ethical claims in their commercials. He replaced former L&O castmate Steven Hill as TD's spokesman so the show is also historically aligned with the brand. If it is good enough (or honest enough) for the District Attorney of New York, then it must be honest enough for you.

So what can we learn?

Before you finalize your entertainment marketing partnerships make sure that you are maximizing the role of “character marketing”. So even if the film is a flop, you still will have a job.


The New York Times features an article today on the power of aligning a brand with a hit show's characters.

A term we call "character marketing". **Disclaimer -we just made up the term but it seems to fit as the public knows little about the actors but "gets" the characters. Can you actually name 4 actors from Entourage?

The HBO series, which completes its third season on Sunday, is not a breakout hit, like its network siblings “Sex and the City” and “The Sopranos.” But the attractive cast, the glamorous show-business story lines and the show’s popularity among men have made “Entourage” — about the picaresque adventures of a young movie star and his posse — appealing to marketers.

Cast members like Kevin Dillon and Jeremy Piven are appearing in campaigns for brands like Diet Pepsi and Gap. Cingular Wireless and HBO produced “mobisodes,” mini-episodes for watching on mobile phones, that feature the cast. And Hyundai Motor America has introduced a minivan called Entourage (although the company calls it a coincidence).

The attraction of marketers to “Entourage” speaks to the continuous interplay between advertising and popular culture. From the so-called golden days of radio to the dawn of network television to today, successful shows have served as a talent pool for potential product peddlers.

Another example is the ABC series “Desperate Housewives,” which is returning for a third season on Sept. 24. Cast members like Marcia Cross, Eva Longoria and Nicollette Sheridan are being featured in campaigns for brands like Diet Pepsi, 7Up Plus and Vive from L’Oréal Paris.


Anheuser-Busch is launching its own in-house film and TV production company. The division will focus on creating short-form programming intended for the web and cell phones. The company has previously developed content for the National Football League preseason games for the St. Louis Rams. The division will be run by VP-Creative Development Jim Schumacher.

Why is this significant? Because the king of beers has a very large wallet- $1.56 billion. We also assume that the company is probably pitched a hefty load of new projects every hour by every content person on the planet. Let’s face it..anything to do with humor, wit, men or sports makes sense for the company's brand so this new department will have to really focus on paying off the company’s communication goals.


Copywriter Jeff Greenspan created this video for the Huffington Post. The video watches as "the head-writer of FOX's new show goes up against the corporate powers-that-be in an attempt to preserve his creative integrity."

But really, the video features a bottle of Johnson's Baby Sampoo, a bottle of Coke, the scrubbing bubbles guy, an M&M and Jesus as they bicker and bitch about the finer points of product placement. Ahhh..bickering...product placement....and Jesus.


It's Bar Mitzvah Time for Product Placement

A PQ Media report, scheduled to be released today, predicts that marketers will remain enamored with placing products wherever they can: in movies, television and radio shows; on Web sites; in video games; in lyrics; in newspaper and magazine articles; and even in the plots of novels. Product placement is all grown up.

The New York Times refers to this phenomenon as "ad creep" in which pop culture grows increasingly commercialized. They also report that the practice is gaining popularity overseas.

Spending on paid placements worldwide will reach $3.1 billion this year, the PQ report forecasts, compared with $2.2 billion in 2005. The United States led last year with $1.5 billion in paid placements, the report says, followed by Brazil, Australia, France and Japan.

Is this surprising? Absolutely not.

The value of entertainment integration grows every time a user skips an ad. And if you have a tivo device (I’m sure you do) then you probably skip a lot of ads. Integrations, if done right, are proven to be powerful, malleable, engaging, measurable and just marketing.

So the question is how do you find a placement that makes sense for your brand? The answer....identify every opportunity, speak to the producers (see how malleable the content is) and start to brainstorm.

We find that the best ideas are typically not the first ideas. Remember that everyone wants a deal that makes them look like a hero to their stakeholders.


"What do we call Ourselves?

Over the past five years in our industry - we have truly enjoyed watching the "in" words evolve and chance.

Is it entertainment marketing, product placement, brand integration, branded content, or branded entertainment that we do?

People have such strong feelings about each term. "Are we more than product placement but less than entertainment marketing but past branded content?" So we decided to check the source....Wikipedia.

Here are the only two definitions we found:

Branded entertainment
is the combination of an audio-visual programme (TV, radio, podcast, etc.) and a brand. It can be initiated either by the brand or by the broadcaster. The purpose of a branded entertainment programme is first to entertain. The other purpose is to give the opportunity for brands to echo their commercial benefits and the positioning they want to defend.

Originally, branded entertainment started some 50 years ago under the name of "soap operas". Now they have become the way for advertisers to let their messages come across in a "not so commercial" way. This development is one of the consequences of the fragmentation of media and the fact that the traditional 30-second TV spot has become less and less effective to reach consumers fragmented over hundreds of channels and the Internet.

Product placement (PPL) is a promotional tactic used by marketers in which a real commercial product is used in fictional or non-fictional media, and the presence of the product is a result of an economic exchange. When featuring a product is not part of an economic exchange, it is called a product plug. Product placement appears in plays, film, television series, music videos, video-games and books, and is a relatively new idea (first appearing in the 1980's). Product placement occurs with the inclusion of a brand's logo, or a favorable mention or appearance of a product. This is done without disclosure, and under the premise that it is a natural part of the work. Most major movie releases today contain product placements.


Will Ferrell Makes Friends With Brands

In "Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby," the film's stars, Will Ferrell, John C. Reilly and Sacha Baron Cohen, are everywhere on-screan and off wearing their favorite brand logos.

They are featured on the talk show circuit, the MTV Movie Awards, movie trailers, posters, print and Web ads and TV commercials. Ferrell even stars in uniform in commercials for Sprint Nextel, sponsors of NASCAR's Nextel Cup series.

None of the brands had to pay integration fees for their placements -- an increasingly common occurrence as brands seek more prominent roles in entertainment content. With Ferrell and "Talladega" co-writer and director Adam McKay writing Wonder Bread, Perrier and dozens of other brands into the script to poke fun at the over-the-top corporate sponsorship in NASCAR races, the filmmakers needed the brands' involvement just as much, if not more, than the brands wanted to be in the film -- a rare occurrence in the branded entertainment space.

"We needed to borrow their equity, too," Sony Pictures executive vp worldwide consumer marketing George Leon said. "Creatively, (the product placement) worked for the film. We benefited from it as well on many levels."

According to a Sony Pictures representative, the studio never asks for integration fees on its films but instead seeks backend promotions. In the case of "Talladega," Wonder Bread's parent company, Interstate Bakeries, committed to an in-store and on-pack promotion in tens of thousands of supermarkets nationwide. Old Spice did a full-scale promotion, spending about $2.3 million on TV spots, print ads, online banner ads and activation around NASCAR racetracks.

From Hollywood Reporter


Inside the World of Tech Product Placement

Tech brand owners are like many others in seeing the demise of traditional TV and print advertising. But, says Jo Best, they have some magic dust when it comes to product placement.

Kiefer Sutherland uses a Cisco phone. Sharon Stone prefers Mitel. No coincidence, of course - both companies have invested time and more than a few quid to make sure the right, perfectly manicured fingers are wrapped around their handsets.

According to Nate Elliott, analyst at JupiterResearch, the advent of PVRs - devices such as the TiVo, which allow individuals to record vast amounts of TV easily to a hard drive - means more and more of us are skipping traditional ads, forcing marketers to find new ways of getting their products into our glazed eyeballs.

Read the full article


Jessica Simpson is Going HP

HP is the star in Jessica Simpson's new video A Public Affair for an estimated $200,000. So you want to know what $200,000 gets you?

Word is that HP computers and accessories appear three times during the four-minute music video. Simpson's music video features a string of celebrity cameos. Andy Dick, Ryan Seacrest, Eva Longoria, Christina Applegate and Christina Milian all appear alongside the singer.

Product placement in videos has been a challenge to marketers. MTV has often blurred logos that were too commercial. Even rapper Nelly had to change his "Air Force Ones" video because MTV wouldn't air what it felt was a commercial for Nike.


Shaken Not Stirred for Smirnoff & James Bond

One of our favorite brand building franchises of all time belongs to the super secret himself, James Bond. And, Smirnoff Vodka is in with the agent himself. Again.

In the Casino Royale film debuting Nov. 17., Smirnoff will be included in TV ads, online, and bar promotions.

“The James Bond and Smirnoff brands have gone hand in hand for more than 40 years, and throughout our rich history together, we have both remained true to our roots—clearly original,” James Thompson, president of Smirnoff global marketing, said in a statement.

Smirnoff first appeared as Bond’s ingredient of choice in 1962’s Dr. No. The brand credits Sean Connery’s bar call as helping shift the primary martini ingredient from gin to vodka.


$$ is Rolling to the Video Screen

There are 132 million teen and adult gamers in the U.S., with nearly half of all households having a game console. According to the Boston based, Yankee Group, spending on in-game advertising and product placement will reach $730 million by 2010.

So what is behind this trend and does it replicate the movement we see in Holywood?

Activision, Electronic Arts and other companies spend as much as $20 million to develop a blockbuster video game. They can recover some of these cost from in-game product placements. But most deals are now moving to the CPM model. For reference, a videogame ad costs $30 per 1,000 people reached so clearly there are no BMW-sized deals occuring in the industry. Yet.

Our new favorite model is from Moola. Where consumers play against each other for real money for free. Similar to a TV game show, Moola relies on sponsors to enable millions of people to vie for serious amounts of cash and prizes. Sponsors give small amounts of money to millions of people, and then Moola allows those people to compete against one another so that individuals may win more or less, depending on how well they compete.

Simply put, Moola is brilliant. The next generation of advergainment. Try it today.


Billions $$ for Placement

PQ Media published its new estimate of the total value of product placement in TV and film - an estimated $5.7 billion in 2006 which is nearing the $9.1 billion spent in the annual TV upfront.

That number is an increase over its estimate of the value of product placement in 2005, which was $4.48 billion.

Beware, that this figure is an estimate of equivalent value, not an estimate of money actually spent.

Are they out of whack? Our feeling is it doesn't matter as long as brands and content producers are getting what they need out of their partnerships.


The Meow Reality Show

Cat food brand Meow Mix has created "the world's first reality show starring cats."

Ten homeless felines from shelters across the United States were flown to New York, where they lived together in a custom-built house in midtown Manhattan from June 13 to June 23. The cats then competed in a series of tongue-in-cheek challenges, including a climb-a-thon and a purring contest, as they vied for a job as 'feline vice president of research and development' at Meow Mix."

You can vote on your favorite, read their bios and check out their feline kitchen.


Product Placement on the Dinner Table

As I watched the final, final episode of "Six Feet Under" on my HBO on demand, I couldn't stop focusing on the stuff on the table. Although the show was one of my all time favorites, I wondered what wine were they drinking for the occasion? And how did they get that particular wine on the table. Was it the director, the actor or even the boss at HBO?

I researched it and found that it was from the Turnbull Wine Cellars, a Napa Valley wine or an "elegant, special occasion kind of wine."

At the Clos du Val winery in Napa Valley, officials have been pursuing product placement for about five years and calculate appearances of their wines on TV and movie sets have yielded thousands of dollars worth of publicity, said Holly Myers, vice president of marketing.

A successful placing was in the movie "The Terminal," in which Tom Hanks orders a Clos du Val cabernet sauvignon for a romantic dinner.

"It's not something where we're on a major TV show Thursday night and Friday morning our phones are ringing off the hook," Myers said. "For us, it's there as a process, getting your wine into the hands of the right people. Word will kind of spread."


Keeping Product Placement Score at Home

We just found a new web resource called Brand Hype designed to foster informed debate about product placement in the movies. The site even has a feature called "Movie Mapper," a searchable database of product placements in the movies. Users can search by actor, film title, brandname, etc, to get a full list of product appearances drawn from this growing list of movies.

We typed in Chevy, and ended up at the site for "Orange County". Yeah, the movie with Tom Hank's son and Jon Black but no mention of the Chevy brand (but a Ford mention). Still, for all of us in the business, it's fun to use. Here are my results:

Orange County (2002), US

The following brands appear in this movie.

At 00:01:00 Stanford University is mentioned by a main character (Shaun Brumder) for 1 seconds. (Shaun Brumder (played by Colin Hanks) is a senior high school student who dreams of going to Stanford University’s English department. Due to an error in his transcript Shaun is not offered admission to Stanford. The plot of the movie revolves around his many attempts to be accepted at this university. Throughout the film this institution is mentioned by a variety of different characters and praised as one of the best schools in America. )

At 00:13:00 Nokia is seen with a main character (Shaun Brumder) for 3 seconds.

At 00:19:00 Nissan is seen behind a main character (Shaun Brumder) for 5 seconds.

At 00:19:00 Porsche is seen behind a main character (Shaun Brumder) for 4 seconds.

At 00:20:00 Fed. Ex. is seen behind a minor character for 4 seconds.

At 00:35:00 Tylenol is mentioned by a minor character for 1 seconds.

At 00:36:00 Stanford University is mentioned by a minor character for 6 seconds. (Shaun is meeting with one of Stanford's board members. The meeting goes catastrophically bad and Shaun is not offered admission to the University. The member of the board of tells Shaun that "Stanford is for the best and the brightest; the future leaders of America. You will never go to Stanford as long as a have a breath in my body".)

At 00:51:00 Ford is seen with a main character (Shaun Brumder) for 4 seconds.

At 01:16:00 Goldfish snack is seen with a minor character for 2 seconds.


Check out some denim - go to a free movie

Marketers are having a difficult time reaching kids during the summer. So how do they solve it? They align their brand with a theatre chain.

American Eagle Outfitters is promoting their new back to school line with free AMC tickets for trying on their denim. The retailer is offering one free movie ticket to AMC Theatres to the first 1 million customers who try on a pair of the brand's jeans at select American Eagle Outfitters' stores.


Branded Content Mobile Style

Current TV will be the first network to feature cell phone video content with the launch of Current Mobile. Adding to its viewer created content, Current Mobile will become a regular showcase on the network and it will be sponsored by Sony Ericsson. The content will be short and will capture moments or events instead of full stories. "Phonojournalists" are encouraged to shoot video via their mobile phones and upload the items to Current's online studio.


Who Wants to Manage A Baseball Team?

Live Planet, MSN and Schematic (intereactive marketing agency) are teaming up to produce a reality baseball site entitled, "Fan Club".

"FAN CLUB: Reality Baseball," is a site all about the Schaumberg Flyers--a minor league baseball team based in Chicago. Users can vote on coaching decisions, including the team roster, the batting order, pitching rotation, trades, and free agent deals. The site will include videos of the Flyers' season, player profiles, game highlights, and behind-the-scenes footage about the players' and coaches' lives. The site will include display ads and streaming video ad placements.

Keith Quinn, executive producer of the interactive series, said that, as things develop, fans will get to vote on more decisions such as ratifying a trade or filling the roster.

"We're going to let the fans do as much as we can," Quinn said. "But we won't have players playing positions they can't play -- like a catcher playing shortstop or centerfield."

What brand will own this opportunity?


Get Real by A&E Television

That real person in that real show on A&E is really holding a real product.

A&E is going all out in product placement. One of the tattoo artists on "Inked" will get a new Dodge Caliber to replace his beloved but beat-up older Dodge. The character, Dizzle, gets kidded about his old Dodge, leading to the idea of having the head of the tattoo parlor give him a sharp new ride. Dodge supplied the car while A&E supplied the viewers.

Dodge also will be the sponsor of the show's premiere episodes and get category exclusivity in them. The network will create special promos for the Caliber episode using footage from the show, and Dodge will be tagged on TV and print tune-in ads.

KFC will also get category exclusivity as sponsor of premier episodes of "Driving Force," - the family will eat KFC at home and brand the car with KFC.

So, is product placement better in reality programming or is it just easier? Only sales will tell.


Can Your Brand Stay Up Late?

As most players in the product placement field continue to focus on prime time, morning shows and soaps for integration, some brands are choosing to stay-up late.

Yamaha musical instruments is the most-seen brand on the three late-night shows tracked by TNS Media Intelligence: CBS’s Late Show with David Letterman, NBC’s Tonight Show with Jay Leno and ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live. I guess it does pay to give musicians free gear.

Pontiac, Coors, Toyota and Nike sneakers are also omnipresent in the world of late night placements (Pontiac and Coors sponsor musical acts on Kimmel, and Toyota has done the same on Leno).

And lets not forget Letterman's Hello Deli which recevied more name mentions than the number 1 soft drink in the world.

Think Like A Marketing Genius - Act Like A Celebrity Chef

Watching the Early Show on CBS this morning, I realized that celebrity chefs are great marketers of themselves.

Yes, Batalli, Emeril, Ray, and Flay all know how to get themselves on the tube. Not on the nightly gossip shows with the Pitts or the Spears, but on morning news programs. They are successfully able to integrate their personal brand into daily news content. From this platform, they are able to market their restaurants, their cookbooks, their products and anything else they can think of selling. Even Rachael Ray has taken her brand into Oprah land.

So the next time you want to launch a product or get some free television exposure, think what Flay, Ray, Emeril or Batalli would do.

World Cup Sex Toys?

We are firm believers in using the power of content to drive product sales so we had to bring this to our audience.

World Cup-themed sex toys and apparel are here. At Beate Uhse, Germany’s erotic superstore, the company is selling six “sporty vibrators,” tight-fitting soccer jerseys for women and an “erotic energy drink,” guaranteeing “an erotic home game that is a lot more exciting than any football tournament.”

And did we mention that they have also taken a dabble into branded content?

A specially filmed "World Cup Porno" DVD consists of the following plot: A group of men have been stricken by football fever and are neglecting their girlfriends, who promptly solve the problem by slipping on sexy football shirts to make themselves irresistible once again. The film's main star, 'Manuel', is a real football player from a regional German division, boasts the retailer.

Got to love the World Cup!


The Treasure is the Text Message

Last night's two hour premiere on NBC for "Treasure Hunters" was full of product integration. Motorola ROKR phones,, Orbitz, and Genworth Financial to name a few. Magellan GPS systems were also featured on the homepage. The show, like the upcoming "Gold Rush" on CBS and AOL allows and encourages viewers to play at home.

In this fast-paced adventure reality series, multi-player teams try to stay one step ahead of each other as they are mentally and physically challenged in their quest of a promised hidden treasure. The teams must avoid elimination as they travel to historically significant locations where they must decipher cryptic codes and puzzles, each with a clue leading them closer to solving the ultimate puzzle, and obtaining the coveted grand prize.

Our favorite is a play to win your own treasure for $10,000. During the Treasure Hunters broadcast, watch for the prompt to enter. Then, type 51515 with your answer to the on-air question.

Looks like they are taking a page out of the "Deal or No Deal" book in which the producers and network make millions off a simple text promotion.


Bob, is the Price Right for My Brand?

Great posting on Adjabs on how to figure out product placement on The Price is Right.

Some of the product placements on the show are paid for by the manufacturer, but they can't fill all the grocery slots with paid placements. Because of this, some products are just bought by staff members at local supermarkets.

So how can you tell which is which? TPiR fan site helps break the code: if the announcer mentions the product's name and has a descriptive paragraph, it's a pretty safe bet that the vendor paid for that plug. If he reads a short sentence and the product is not named, it was bought in the supermarket.


Hard Cover Product Placement & Cover Girl have struck a marketing partnership with the publishers of "Cathy's Book," in which the Cover Girl product is integrated organically into the story. The story is about an aspiring artist who is trying to find out why her boyfriend broke up with her.

The authors, Sean Stewart and Jordan Weisman, had already written “Cathy’s Book” when their agent showed the manuscript to Maurice Coffey at Procter & Gamble (who own Cover Girl).

Although we have found very little activity in the world of adolescent hardcover product placement, this book, aimed at female adolescents, could raise serious questions about the target audience. will begin promoting the book in banner ads on the site in August, with links to cartoons drawn by Cathy's character. Will the audience embrace this story and its product or will parents pressure the marketer to stop?


Just a World Cup Thought

With the explosion of World Cup Soccer this summer, why aren't any of the studios or independents launching their own soccer films?

Companies are expected to spend more than $1 billion on advertising -- not including sponsorship fees, and marketing and hospitality -- during the 2006 World Cup. "There is no real sporting event like this in the world in regard to massive global exposure," says Salvatore Galatioto, president of Galatioto Sports Partners, a New York investment firm. "It's going to spur sales of all kinds."

Germany's Adidas-Salomon (ADDYY) is shelling out close to $200 million, while Oregon-based Nike (NKE) is spending more than $100 million on various campaigns to peddle sneakers, soccer boots, jerseys, soccer balls, and T-shirts.Soure: Business Week

Clearly with this amount of money flowing into the world of soccer, there is an opportunity for a smart brand to develop a tv or film property to capture the passion of every soccer fan.



This weekend the Piston Cup will be bigger than the Indianapolis 500.
The Piston Cup is the big race in Pixar's new movie "Cars," which hits thousands of theaters across the nation today.

"Cars" should be very good news for the auto racing industry, which admits that it has challenges attracting young fans the way other sports do. Even though NASCAR has become the second most popular spectator sport in the country, its officials admit they have a disadvantage competing with other sports for the attention and loyalties of kids.


Has Trump Lost His Product Placement?

Great post on AdJabs and MediaPost on how 'Apprectice' integration is now on the clearance rack. Mark Burnett Productions has a unique deal with NBC where it gets to sell the product integration packages and keep the revenues.

According to sources, producers have cut the price from $2 to 3 million down to $1.5 to 1 million. But will advertisers still pay? In a media world where brands always want 'something out of the box', will the sixth season set in Los Angeles find enough advertiser love? Our bet is that smaller brands will enter as the marketing innovators will put their funds into newer shows.


New Dating Product Placement & Lifetime are partnering together for the new comedy 'Lovespring International'. The show involves a dating service who is constantly losing clients to PerfectMatch, a fact that gets frequent mentions in the episodes.

The deal is for the entire 13 show with separate ad purchases for both partners. PerfectMatch has bought ad time during the show and Lifetime will run ads on PerfectMatch's website.

Read more in New York Times


The TV Clutter Problem

In a new article entitled, "Product Placement Fueling TV Clutter, Brands Now Present More Than Half The Time," marketing messages account for 35 percent of every hour in prime time. In the first quarter of 2006, an average hour in prime time included more than 17 minutes of commercials and over three minutes of product integrations--accounting for the 35 percent figure, according to TNS Media Intelligence.

Reality shows on average had more than triple the product integration time of dramas and comedies. On average, unscripted shows devoted seven minutes and 39 seconds to branded integration, while scripted programs came in at two minutes and eight seconds.

Brand Appearances, Advertising Per Network TV Hour

-----Minutes:Seconds Per Hour------

Brand Ad Brand/Ad

Appearances Messages Total

Network Prime-Time Average 3:22 17:38 21:00

Unscripted Programs 7:39 18:06 25:45

Scripted Programs 2:08 17:31 19:39

Network Late Night Average* 8:41 22:46 31:27

Source: Source: TNS Media Intelligence, First quarter 2006. Ad messages include network and local commercial time, promos and PSAs. *Includes "Leno," "Letterman," "Kimmel."

Top Shows In Terms Of Brand Appearances/Ad Clutter

-----Minutes:Seconds Per Hour------

Brand Ad Brand/Ad

Appearances Messages Total

Oscar Countdown (ABC) 31:28 17:50 49:18

Price Is Right/Million Dollar (CBS) 28:08 16:25 44:33

Biggest Loser (NBC) 22:48 17:56 40:44

American Idol (Fox) 21:29 18:57 40:26

Get This Party Started (UPN) 18:38 18:35 37:13

Amazing Race 9 (CBS) 17:32 16:27 33:59

King of Queens (CBS) 10:56 17:03 27:59

Yes, Dear (CBS) 10:22 16:17 26:39

Source: Source: TNS Media Intelligence, First quarter 2006. Ad messages include network and local commercial time, promos and PSAs.