FASHION 'NEWS' OR PRODUCT HYPE?

L'Oreal Buys Into Content of 'Full Frontal Fashion' TV Show

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Product placement is so ubiquitous that the term is now part of marketers' everyday vocabulary, and has infiltrated almost every form of
Former Miss USA and Doritos sales spokeswoman Ali Landry will anchor the show's 'news' format.
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entertainment -- TV programs, movies, you name it. So it's not too surprising to see entertainment-news programming welcoming sponsors with open arms.

Integrated sponsor
Full Frontal Fashion, a fashion "news" show that launched last week on the WE Network, signed L'Oreal to become an integrated sponsor of a segment of its programming that will feature the cosmetics company's key stylist and spokesperson, a man known as Oribe.

"They are a rather large sponsor. They own quite a lot of inventory in the show. And we are doing a segment with their stylists," says Liz Koman, senior vice president of ad sales for Rainbow Media's WE Network and AMC.

Full Frontal was acquired by WE last fall from local cable network MetroTV and it has just begun to air nationally.

'Very persistent'
"We have a lot of cosmetic business at WE, so we had a few marketers vying for a deal on Full Frontal. L'Oreal was very persistent. This was something that really interested them," Ms. Koman says.

L'Oreal did not respond to calls for comment.

"When he does a hair or makeup tip, he will use their products," Ms. Koman says. "It's seamless. This is something we would do naturally, anyway. It makes sense, instead of using a competitor's product, we're using theirs." The show also signed a new host, Ali Landry, the former Miss USA who became known as the "Dorito's Girl" after starring in several provocative spots for the snack maker by Omnicom Group's BBDO Worldwide.

'Every girl's dream'
"This is every girl's dream," Ms. Landry says. "This show is creating access to the whole fashion world. We go inside it, showing how hectic it all is, and you see those crazy outfits that I would never wear, as well as all the practical fashions."

Ms. Landry is the show's anchor, introducing reports that are filed by glamorous correspondents such as Judy Licht, wife of ad legend Jerry Della Femina; Andre Leon Talley, editor at large for Conde Nast's Vogue; Hal Rubenstein, fashion-features editor for Time Inc.'s InStyle; Suze Yalof Schwartz, executive fashion director at Conde Nast's Glamour; and celebrity photographer Patrick McMullan. Scott Omelianuk, a former editor at Conde Nast Publications' GQ and Hearst Magazines' Esquire, will host the segment known as The Men's Department.

Fox's product immersion
WE network is not the first to mix product placement with news-type programming. Fox Sports Net has launched branded-marketing deals for the Best Damn Sports Show Period and 54321, its new extreme-sports show. Fox Sports has even coined a new name for it: "immersion."

"The Best Damn Sports Show is an entertainment show more than news," says Tom Chiappetta, the network's director of media relations. "We have more leeway than [ESPN's] SportsCenter. We deliver the news in an entertaining way. If you are in a straight-news format it is more difficult." The Best Damn Sports show has done immersion deals with Ford Motor Co. and Labatt USA, while 54321 has snapped up Snapple as an immersion brand.

'Be more careful'
"We have to be more careful with 54321," Mr. Chiappetta says. "It's more of a news show so we are more judicious about how we do it in that show."

Meanwhile, at the WE network, another Full Frontal advertiser, Designer Shoe Warehouse, or DSW, will sponsor a segment called "Where'd You Get That?"

"We will go out and do a report on shoes and we'll be shooting at one of their stores, which makes sense because that's what they do, they offer shoes for less," Ms. Koman says.

Other sponsors sought
The show has room for other sponsors. "But it has to be something that is natural to the show, that is seamless, that makes sense for the show creatively." For instance, Snap-On Tools wouldn't fit in, Ms. Koman says, "unless we showed someone fixing a lift on someone's heel."

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