Friday, May 8, 2009

Dr. Pepper Stars On 90210

The current TV Guide takes issue with the show "90210" for its use of product placement. The show is a proud sponsor of Dr. Pepper, and all the kids in Beverly Hills drink it. At least that's what they want you to think. Evidently, a can of Dr. Pepper manages to get a close-up two or three times an episode. Product placement in film and TV isn't new. In the 1980's, sales of Ray-Ban sunglasses went through the roof when Sonny Crockett modeled them on "Miami Vice". And just imagine what would have happened if "E.T." had featured Steven Spielberg's first choice in candy, M&M's, over Reese's Pieces. Would the delicious peanut butter flavored candies still exist today? Then there's "American Idol". The judges all drink coke. And Scott McIntyre, the blind singer who was recently eliminated, was featured in those annoying fake Ford ads featuring "Idol" contestants. I don't think Paula Abdul was drinking coke, and I don't think McIntyre really drives a Ford, but many people follow what their favorite stars are doing. What they are not doing is watching the commercials. The number of homes with digital video recorders keeps growing. People are fast-forwarding past the commercials. The advertising industry knows that the best way to market a product is to have our favorite character endorse it. Dr. Pepper beat Mr. Pibb to the punch. Oh, and I'm still wearing my Ray-Bans and packing a Smith & Wesson Model 4506.


  1. Amazing what $$$$ can do these days....the product companies want to spend their almighty dollar of ROI rater than merely placement or supposed "impressions via commercial. I do agree however that the vast time shifting majority does in fact fast forward through as many commercial as possible. and I applaud them all. Commercials in general do have a purpose and place withing the TV world but it is my understanding that product placement on a show, directly connected to a character actually creates more sustainable impressions than an actual 30 second spot.
    My two cents.....

  2. When a viewer fast-forwards past the commercials, it's not necessarily a bad thing for the advertiser. In fact, the viewer is subliminally imprinted with the ad's message. Studies have shown that this is more effective than watching in real time, or even being influenced by the product being used by their favorite characters. In the ad business, this is known as a "blipvert".

  3. Blipverts? No wonder I'm drinking so much Bud Light.