So, You Wanna Be On TV

Feb 24, 2012  |  By Civilian  |  

At the risk of repeating myself, I am going to keep harping on one of my favorite subjects: television advertising. Why do I like it so much? Because it’s starting to get very sneaky. It’s a new and aggressive field where advertising and creative content are becoming more intertwined by the second. Product placement is not the obvious notice-the-logo-on-our-cereal-box anymore. Realism is key.

The gist is this: be it traditional marketing or a fictional plotline, everything is advertising something. That something could be a lifestyle, a state of mind, or a new dishwasher. With many traditional marketing forms following a trajectory toward obsolescence, product placement and alternative content advertising are becoming crucial to the advertising world. Or I should say, to the creatives who need that advertising cash. Television writers, independent rock bands, performance artists, and YouTube sensations understand that advertising and product placement are available revenue sources, and are getting in on the action. Look at OK Go, who have most memorably been sponsored by State Farm and Chevy. As frontman Damian Kulash puts it, “Having the wisdom to let your brand lay back and be part of the story rather than the surface of the content is so much more valuable to the brand, and also allows you to do what everybody wants to do—which is to have genuine content that people want to be engaged with, rather than crassly sticking your product into something.” Well said, if you ask me.

And if “letting your brand lay back” doesn’t seem like the right move, then let me persuade you with what I like to call the “I feel just like” effect. Jimmy Choos? I feel just like Carrie Bradshaw. Go shopping at Dean & Deluca? I feel just like Jamie Oliver. Buy some Ray Bans? I feel just like Joel Goodsen. The point is, lifestyle branding reaches consumers on a very personal level. We often don’t want to be ourselves as we are, but rather a version of ourselves that’s as cool as Michael J. Fox circa 1986. So product placement, when done realistically and correctly, works its way into our aspirations and feel-good nostalgia. Content is king, and brands can benefit when they take a natural approach and are woven seamlessly into the fabric of a show’s content.


Katherine Timm
Director of Business Development
MOOD: integrated

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