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Sponsor of Reality Show Segment, Cellphone 'Mobisodes' and Web Content

By Published on .

NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Fast-food marketer Burger King has jumped into yet another reality show partnership. Following on the heels of integration deals with Fox’s “The Simple Life,” NBC’s “The Apprentice” and CBS’s “Big Brother,” the burger chain is back on one of Fox’s newest reality show, “Unanimous.”
Burger King is featured in the 'Have it Your Way' confessional segment, where contestants talk to the camera about their private thoughts and what would happen if they could 'have it their way.'

“Unanimous” debuted last week in a key slot behind “American Idol” on Wednesdays at 9:30 p.m., attracting 16 million viewers. It was the highest-rated unscripted series premiere this season among adults aged 18-34, according to Fox.

In-program presence strategy
Burger King’s strategy of maintaining an in-program presence is becoming increasingly common among marketers looking to avoid ad-skippers in the rapidly growing time-shifting universe. Sixty one percent of advertisers polled by the Association of National Advertisers last week said they are looking at branded entertainment deals within TV programs as an alternative to the traditional 30-second spot.

The concept behind “Unanimous” is to put nine strangers in a room and not let them out until they agree to give one of the nine the $1.5 million prize. The longer the contestants take to decide a winner, the faster the prize money shrinks. Burger King is featured in the “Have it Your Way” confessional segment, where contestants talk to the camera about their private thoughts and what would happen if they could “have it their way.”

Other elements of integration
The integration is just one element of the partnership; Burger King also appears on the home page of Fox.com, where users can download additional material from the show. Fox also produced 18 "mobisodes" for Sprint video cellphones that are sponsored by Burger King. The program was developed in partnership with Fox and Burger King's media agency, WPP Group's media network MindShare.

"This is one we were really excited about. In many cases, because of talent rights it's difficult to feature the main actors in a show [on a mobisode.] Because this is unscripted there aren't the same Screen Actors Guild rights, so we knew we could get casting tapes," said Gillian Smith, senior director- media and interactive,Burger King.

“We explore unconventional ways to incorporate Burger King brand qualities, including empowerment and customization, into our marketing efforts,” Gillian Smith, senior director-media and interactive, Burger King Corp., said in a press statement. Jean Rossi, Fox exec VP-sales, said previous collaborations with Burger King have included the animated show “Family Guy” and critically acclaimed but recently canceled comedy “Arrested Development.”

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