Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The thin line of synergy

Fox and Rupert Murdoch's NewsCorp has become an expert at synergistic marketing. Why? They are genius at implanting cross promotional opportunities. They are one of the "Media Giant Oligopolies" who maintain control over the media.

What does this mean for you? When you turn on one or more the following television stations there is a high degree of chance that you will see a promotion for a program on one of the other stations. This allows for low cost promotion of their programming, while filling their adverstising space.

Something that I have been noticiing is that there is more and more product placement on numerous paid cable television channels. The first example comes from Cablevision's AMC. Their slogan is "Stories Matter." However, they have been increasingly blurring the line between their programming and their commercial advertisements. They have had a number of ads for Contacts.com that mirror the program "Mad Men." This show details the lives of powerful advertising executives when advertising was born. It makes the viewer question as to whether or not AMC is trying to reinvent the way that advertisers gear their commercials.

The second example, is HBO's Entourage that follows the "superstar" Vinnie Chase and his posse's lives around. In the most recent season, Turtle gets a gig for promoting Avion tequilla and he gets his superstar friend to tweet about it, and also give it a soft endorsement. In this plot arc, the owner of the company is afraid that he will lose his company to Mark Cuban a wealthy business man. After the episodes aired, it came out that the creator of the show had this company written into the storyline to help out a friend's company. The company did not pay a dime for the promotion, and the story. Benevolence? You decide.

As a marketer, I appreciate the new and innovative ways that people are utilizing television programming to promote products and services. However, as a consumer, I am mildly irriated that I can't escape the messages, even when I want to shut down my brain. If I shut down my brain, I may just fall victim to the product placement....

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