Ford and McDonald's to feature on Leno
Product integrations may have ultimately been the force that moved the upfront this year and the importance they play as a revenue source is underscored by news that Jay Leno’s show will feature an electric Ford Focus, complete with track. Bloggers dugg out details last week and Bloomberg confirms more facts on McDonald’s already announced tie up with the show. The McDonald’s Monopoly promotion begins in October and will run for a month, and is described, by the company, as its biggest marketing promotion in 20 years.NBC Universal’s president ad sales, Mike Pilot, told Bloomberg, advertisers paid a premium for such integrations. However, persuading enough advertisers to commit dollars to five nights of Leno at 10.00 pm was no easy task. Our market sources say advertisers balked at paying prime time ad rates for a show they felt should command no more than they were paying for The Tonight Show. Some suggest that the network lowered overall rates for those who made a significant commitment to the Leno. Those who agreed, got a lower CPM rate if they committed enough upfront money.
Generally advertisers like to see how such variety shows perform, and whether they have staying power, before making a big commitment. Bloomberg quotes Carat’s director of media investment Andy Donchin as saying that if Leno can achieve close to the 4.7 million viewers he had at “The Tonight Show,” then he’s doing OK. “Any more than that would be icing on the cake,” said Donchin.
Whether those advertisers keep coming back will depend not only on whether viewers watch the product integrations but on the performance of those commercials in between.