Mercedes-Benz Rides Shotgun with TNT's 'Public Morals'

Sponsorship of New Cop Drama Includes VOD Stacking

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Custom spots will feature actor Edward Burns.
Custom spots will feature actor Edward Burns.

TNT is revving up a high-profile deal with Mercedes-Benz, signing on the luxury automaker as the season-long sponsor of its latest original series, the Edward Burns cop drama "Public Morals."

Per terms of the deal, Mercedes not only will purchase ad inventory in the show, but will also sponsor a special four-episode VOD stack designed to allow "Public Morals" fans a chance to binge on the period piece at their leisure.

A gripping story about the rough and tumble '60s vice squad cops who tried to forestall New York City's seemingly inevitable slide into corruption and decay, "Public Morals" debuts on TNT Tuesday, August 25. The following day, the Turner network will make the first four episodes available via set-top-box VOD, online streaming and the Watch TNT app.

The VOD stack not only allows viewers to consume "Public Morals" at their own pace, but it also provides a superior ad environment. (Given that so-called "trick functionality" is deactivated in on-demand platforms, viewers cannot zip or zap through the ads. As such, VOD effectively negates commercial avoidance.)

The cornerstone of Mercedes' pact with TNT is a series of "Style & Substance" vignettes designed to show off the automaker's all-new 2016 GLE Coupe. The 90-second custom spots will echo Mr. Burns' meticulous attention to detail and passion for authenticity; his recreation of John Lindsay-era New York evokes Matt Weiner's "Mad Men," ifDon Draper had carried a gat and shook down mobsters.

Commentary from Mr. Burns, co-star Michael Rappaport and production designer Dina Goldman boils down to how superior design is the key driver of powerful performances.

The vignettes will air within the linear telecasts as well as in the VOD stack. They will be preceded by a 30-second ad unit; at present, Mercedes is running "Heat," a call-to-action in support of the automaker's annual "Summer Event" promotion.

A TNT spokesperson said that dynamic ad insertion would be available in the four on-demand episodes via select cable operators.

Mercedes this summer has raised its profile on TNT, investing in 34 30-second spots since July 20, per data. Since the year began, Mercedes spots have aired 166 times on TNT, of which 64 appeared in prime time.

The automaker in 2014 spent $323.1 million on advertising, according to Kantar Media estimates.

TNT ordered 10 episodes of "Public Morals," which is co-produced by the Turner network and Steven Spielberg's Amblin Entertainment. The series was picked up back in May 2014, making it one of the last projects to get green-lit before TNT/TBS president Kevin Reilly took the helm in early November.

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