Wednesday, May 30, 2007

All Up In Your TV Shows

Tomorrow night, USA is going to premiere The Starter Wife, a mini-series starring Debra Messing. Most people are expecting the usual marketing hoopla- microsites like nobody's business, maybe a few pre-roll ads here and there, and of course some product placement. Maybe our dear friend Grace (I can still call her that, right?) will drink a Coke, maybe go run in her Nike shoes, and take her Land Rover to pick up the kids.

Toto, we're not in standard product placement anymore...

For this particular show, Pond's identified an opportunity to align themselves with the overall message of the series. They are going to run vignettes about "starting over," which will feature their age-defying skincare products. reports that in exchange for financing, Pond's was allowed to put its marketing agents in the room with The Starter Wife's writers during the scripting process. During the show, characters use the products, and there are even related lines of dialogue.

This marketing approach obviously raises many different issues and questions:

1) This could potentially provide an avenue for offline/online agencies to start discussions earlier about a fully integrated sponsorship, but who should be the primary owner?
2) How will opportunities be priced?
3) Whose job is it to present these to advertisers? Should agencies become more pro-active in seeking out new shows before they have begun development?
4) How can success be measured?

As mentions, advertising will inevitably seep its way into the most unexpected areas. The lines between editorial and advertising will also become increasingly blurred.

Where will TV shows start and advertising begin?

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