With the declining efficacy of the 30-second spot, more advertisers have been turning to branded entertainment. Now, some players with big budgets are taking their efforts one step further. Ford is mulling a reality show that’s part American Inventor (the ideas), part America’s Next Top Model (the aesthetics), part The Apprentice (the commercialization). Procter & Gamble is planning a Martha Stewart-type show based on their Home Made Simple campaign.
Great strategy – if you have the money to do it. Marketers should be careful though to not stray too far into the TV production business – it’s a lot deeper than making commercials. No word on whether networks will prevent competitive advertising during the shows – otherwise get ready for some interesting placements ala Domino’s/Papa John’s. Either way, networks win.