Adages - Between the sheets: the latest in embedded advertising

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Horizontal scenes are hot in prime time. In NBC's "Coupling," CBS's "Everybody Loves Raymond" and Fox's "Temptation Island" alone, there are enough mattresses on display to supply a showroom floor at Macy's. And where there are props, nowadays, there are marketers. Hero Product Placement, a mom-and-pop shop in Sun Valley, California, has signed a client to tap into prime time's new prone position-Select Comfort Sleep Number Beds, the people who make a mattress with air chambers that are inflated or deflated with a 60 watt electric pump controlled by a remote device, very much like a TV remote. If the folks at Hero have their way, we'll soon be seeing "Bachelorette" stars Trista and Ryan tinkering with a clicker (in wired or wireless models with digital display), and hearing the "whisper quiet" hum of the firmness control pump on their first nuptial night in the upcoming three-part, four-hour ABC reality special documenting their wedding.

"Associating our brand with TV couples is important," says Anna Lovely, a spokeswoman at Select Comfort. "Our brand is all about dual adjustability. Each side of the bed can be changed to suit each person's needs. New couples like Tristan and Ryan would be a great fit for us." It also could test the firmness of Trista and Ryan's commitment to each other.

Julie Weinhouse, founder of Hero, which recently placed client Grey Goose Vodka in HBO's "Sex and the City," has just started pitching the remote-control mattress to sitcoms, home-improvement shows and reality programs like Trista and Ryan's wedding. "You can make the bed as hard as you want. In three seconds it can go from a very soft zero to 100, which would be no-play. In other words, it doesn't matter how big you are, it won't budge."

The soft pitch

Speaking of soft, Mark Stroman, founder of L.A.-based Entertainment Marketing Partners and a former Endeavor agent, nailed a Glaceau Vitamin Water product placement deal with a sports franchise in the mid five-figures. We're not talking NBA or NHL, we're talking HSL, the Hollywood Softball League, featuring talent agents, managers and studio execs who've been slugging it out in the somewhat informal league for the past two summers. "These guys wear Armani and Gucci all week, but they looked like bums out there in baggy shorts and T-shirts," Stroman said. "It was pathetic." So he talked Glaceau into supplying uniforms with the logo of the gingko-laced, electrolyte-laden beverage, which flows freely during games, dispensed by the company's tricked-out mobile van.

High-flying highbrows

Continental Airlines' estimated 1.3 million domestic and international travelers will soon be staring at the mugs of authors Janet Evanovich, Jonathan Franzen, Sebastian Junger, David Levering Lewis and Diane Osen in a new 90-second in-flight video spot created by independent ad shop Spier, New York, and IKA Spotshop. The video was a pro bono piece for the National Book Foundation, which has designated October as National Book Month. The authors discuss books that changed their lives. Junger, author of the "Perfect Storm," not surprisingly talks about "Moby Dick," while Franzen cites "The Trial" by Franz Kafka. Franzen is the author of "The Corrections," a best-selling book about a suburban family. Oprah Winfrey had chosen it to be in her celebrated book club, but then delisted it after Franzen belittled the honor. He later apologized to Oprah on several talk shows, only later to diss her again. In the in-flight video, Franzen says that the Kafka book moved him because it is about the criminal trial of a patently innocent man, who is actually probably guilty. Franzen obviously relates to inscrutable characters.

Contributing: T.L. Stanley

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