by Mike Masnick

Halfway Between Product Placement And A Commercial

from the experiments-galore dept

While TV execs are worried about TV commercials and TV writers and actors are worried about product placement, it appears that one TV show in Japan is experimenting with something that appears to be halfway between a commercial and product placement. It fits in more specifically with the show, using the same actors from the show, but focuses on a product (such as a car) and has the actors discussing the product. To separate it out from the actual show, when it happens, a red "CM" appears in the upper righthand corner of the screen, designating that this is sort of a commercial. Apparently, the early experiments with this type of advertising has gone over well. Fewer people skip it and more people remember the content. As the execs involved admit, it's part of a growing recognition of a common theme around here: advertising is content too. If you want people to watch your ads, make the content worth watching -- and that's what these half-commercials/half-product placement bits try to do.

Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread

  1. identicon
    Just one guy, 27 Dec 2005 @ 3:27am


    Back in the Seventies, in Italy, we used to have a show, called "Carosello" (carousel), which was basically a series of long commercials (3-5 minutes each) each being a short movie with famous actors or cartoons, or something like that. At the end, as part of the final remarks, the product was mentioned and its qualities praised. The show was timed to be just after the main news broadcast, 8:30-9:00 PM, and was the last show the kids under 10 were allowed to watch before going to bed ("bed after Carosello" is a refrain that all Italians in the 35-45 years range have heard when they were kids).

    Everybody, adults and kids alike, loved that show. It would really be nice to see something like that raise again from the depths of our fond kids' memories.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. identicon
    Mark, 27 Dec 2005 @ 6:17am

    No Subject Given

    I saw something very close to this here in the USA. On "Medium" a few weeks ago the main character and her husband went to the movies, the went to see Memoiers of a Geisha, and spent a few minutes discussing how good it was. Then at the next commercial break was an ad for the movie. But the show definately had a more powerful commercial in it than the "real" commercial.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    Brad Leonard, 27 Dec 2005 @ 6:20am

    It's new again

    Hmm. Anyone old enough to remember two of our better comic actors (Fred Flintstone and Barney Rubble) doing a 30 second spot in their show for Winston cigarettes?

    It's good to see our creative folks in the business are on top of their game.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    cmfrolick, 27 Dec 2005 @ 6:33am

    Old News in Radio

    Most radio shows already do this, especially popular morning shows, they will slip right into the break with a commercial voiced by the show's personalities. Sometimes you don't realize you're in a commercial until it is halfway through.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    Gary Kibble, 27 Dec 2005 @ 7:08am

    Does no one remember?

    Using actors to pitch products was THE standard in early TV. Milton Berle, Groucho Marx, Dr. Welby, Andy Griffith, etc. They all talked about cars, coffee, cigarettes, their sponsor, etc during their show. And so did the announcer.
    More "recent" - Ed McMahan pitching Alpo on the tonight show.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. identicon
    npr listener, 27 Dec 2005 @ 7:13am

    Re: Old News in Radio

    Garrison Keillor personally reads off the sponsors of his show, Prairie Home Companion, at the top of the hour.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. identicon
    Nic Stevens, 27 Dec 2005 @ 8:20am

    "New" method of advertising: Between Product Place

    This is really no new news. This was done by the big three broadcasters in 50s, 60s, and 70s -- before television actors cost so much.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8. identicon
    Frank Patton, 27 Dec 2005 @ 11:34am

    Ads and Product Placement

    The TV show 7th Heaven has been whoring itself with Campbells Soup. Over the last couple of months a number of the new episodes have opened with explicid reference by the actors to Campbells Soup and their Labels. Often featuring the actors collecting the labels. This was more than product placement, this was built into the story-line as a continueing thread, as one of the girls competed at her school to have the most soup labels....

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9. identicon
    Smoking Fetish Chick, 27 Dec 2005 @ 12:45pm

    Re: Ads and Product Placement

    Lisa Kudrow's new show on HBO "The Comeback" lampooned Hollywood's use of product placement when she had to drive around in a Lincoln Navigator for an episode or two, it was worth watching...but then again who watches that show anyhow...

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10. identicon
    Jimbo, 27 Dec 2005 @ 12:53pm

    Product Commercials

    American Idol has been doing something similar. They have the top singers do a Ford commercial.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11. identicon
    hautedawg, 28 Dec 2005 @ 7:47am

    Product placement cost

    the companies pay a huge sum of money (and product) for product placement. I worked for a large manufacturing company in the marketing department and we had a large budget for product placement in movies and television. It's very lucrative for the networks and studios and much better than a commercial. But that' just my opinion.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Use markdown for basic formatting. HTML is no longer supported.
  Save me a cookie
Follow Techdirt
Special Affiliate Offer

Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Recent Stories
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads


Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.