Networks Take Action as Viewers Try to Evade Ads

The NextMedium Report: Upcoming Series Offer New Opportunities to Include Brands

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John Ellis
John Ellis
The second quarter of 2008 showed that consumers continue to skip commercials as networks, faced with rising costs, look for new revenue opportunities through vehicles such as the growing field of paid product placement.

According to Nielsen Media Research, DVR penetration reached 25% at the end of the second quarter and is pacing to reach 30% by year-end, which is in line with previous analyst estimates. Brand exposure declined 15% vs. the previous year as networks continued their efforts to limit unpaid exposure. And NBC Universal, in an effort to offer more brand exposure through paid placement, was the third major partner to join NextMedium's marketplace, which helps networks such as NBCU provide scalable placement opportunities to marketers and offset production costs.

Networks were also trying to recover from the writers strike during this period and were dividing their attention between preparing for the upcoming season and laying the groundwork for 2009-2010. This year's shift in production and networks' willingness to find creative solutions for marketers has created unprecedented placement opportunities for advertisers.

More reality shows on NBC menu
According to, NBC has two upcoming series that can benefit from this approach. "Chopping Block" is a new original cooking-competition series in which British star chef Marco Pierre White will offer hopefuls a chance to open their own Manhattan restaurant. The network is also developing "Celebrity Come Dine With Me," based on the Channel 4 U.K. series. In the U.S. version, a celebrity will cook for four famous friends and at the end of the episode, the dinner party will be judged by its presentation, food and fun.

TNT had previously not prioritized product placement, but its new series set against the advertising industry, "Trust Me," is likely to mark a change.

Fox has committed to a pilot called "Glee," revolving around a high-school glee club in the Midwest. Musical numbers are a part of the series. The young target demo and musical backdrop will provide many opportunities to reach an attractive audience. Another Fox project in contention, "Lie to Me," is an investigative series about a "human lie detector" and should provide opportunities for tech and automotive brand marketers.
John Ellis is chief marketing officer and chief operating officer for NextMedium, where he is responsible for the executive strategy and management of NextMedium's marketing initiatives, client services and general company operations.

ABC hires 'Maid'
Lastly, ABC is currently developing a series loosely based on the feature film "Maid in Manhattan," which has potential for retail and fashion-oriented product placement.

These are just a few of the highlights available in first edition of "The NextMedium Report," which highlights recent trends in branded entertainment. You can download the report and learn more about how scalable product placement can work for brands by going to
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