Lessons From Madison & Vine

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Madison & Vine is growing up, with myriad marketers spending millions to integrate their brands into TV shows, movies, music and video games, as well as launching content-based Internet initiatives.

New seasons of "The Apprentice" are starting up, while other reality shows, such as "Survivor," "The Amazing Race," "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition," "Trading Spaces" and "The Biggest Loser," continue to lure advertisers and spawn copycats. And heavyweights such as General Motors Corp. and Procter & Gamble Co. said that they will buy fewer commercials during the coming TV season and commit that money to alternative marketing methods, including branded entertainment.

But have these marriages of commerce and content been happy ones? Advertising Age has been tracking deals in both these pages, online and its Madison & Vine e-mail newsletter, and below ranks the five best and worst branded-entertainment deals. in the first half of this year.

Success lessons:

Go for a relationship that showcases brand values; be flexible; create a full marketing strategy that lives outside the entertainment content

Failure lessons:

Know the content you're getting involved with; don't let anyone else control your brand message; avoid logo-laden entertainment

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