One marketer whose wares have appeared in "Modern Family" does not want the program to accommodate more products. "It's not your usual sort" of prime-time program, said Scott Keough, chief marketing officer for Audi of America. "This is good, smart, funny stuff." To make it into "Modern Family," a product's appearance has to be relevant to not only the plot but the characters, Mr. Levitan said. One gadget manufacturer recently approached the show about an appearance, he recalled (without naming the company) but was turned down. The reason: The gizmo has a whopping price tag and competes with many lower-priced rivals. That meant its appearance would not seem true to life, he said. Simply put, the "modern family" wouldn't be likely to buy it. By contrast, Apple received huge exposure in 2010, even though no money changed hands, when its iPad -- at the time not available to the public -- was made a major part of a plotline in which technophile Phil Dunphy was coveting the new product. Toyota was interested in getting its cars into the hands of Cam, Claire and the rest from the moment ABC screened the pilot episode of "Modern Family" at its 2009 upfront presentation, said Rob Donnell, president-founder of Brand Arc, a Santa Monica, Calif., brand consultant that helped place Toyota vehicles in the program. "You have got producers that are willing to do it and know how to make it part of a script," Mr. Donnell said. "It's not just one scene, it's actually played out throughout the entire episode." Getting into the show isn't cheap. "Modern Family" is one of the 10 most-expensive shows for advertisers this season, and a 30-second spot runs $249,388, according to Ad Age 's annual survey of prime-time ad costs. Using back-of -the-envelope math, every second a product appears in the show could be worth slightly more than $8,300.
How to Get Your Product on 'Modern Family'THINK ABOUT THE CHARACTERS, NOT YOUR MESSAGE:
How does your product fit into the lifestyle of one of the characters on the show? Producers don't want to disrupt the program by jamming in a box of soap that no one on it would consider using. EXPLAIN HOW YOUR SUPPORT CAN HELP MAKE "MODERN FAMILY" BETTER:
Producers want to take the cast to remote locations or bring in great guest stars. Can your advertising help accomplish that and make the show more exciting? BE PREPARED TO PONY UP:
Though no one is giving figures, back-of -the-envelope calculations indicate it could cost thousands of dollars per second and must be done alongside a traditional TV ad buy. DON'T GET YOUR HOPES UP:
Producers turn down about 90% of requests. No one wants the characters to turn into sales props.
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