Ratings Race


In the race to integrate product into prime time, ABC has taken the lead. Fast Cars and Superstars: Gillette Young Guns Celebrity Race is obviously an attempt to capitalize on the success of NASCAR in the ratings, but it is also a guilt-edged invitation to put your logo on signage and suits and cars and I don't know what all.

Is it any surprise the show was created by BBDO, the ad agency, and Gillette, the razor-blade company. I can just hear ESPN anchor Kenny Mayne calling the "races" now:  "The winning margin was razor thin"; "he was a hair tight around that last turn"; "Boy, the Gillette young guns competing in this "Gillette Young Guns" show are awesome. Now a word from Gillette."

I put race in quotes because apparently nobody is racing against anyone. The show starts tonight, but according to ABC the "stars," like Ty Murray, Gabrielle Reece, John Cena, and Krista Allen, will be performing time trials, which usually means there is only one car on the track, racing against the clock.

Sounds to me like an "On the Track" take on Fox's On the Lot which sounded like a good idea at the time but has not panned out.

William Shatner is also slated to drive in the competition–the Young Gunhs of the title beiong the NASCAR drivers showing the stars how it's done. That allows ABC to cross-promote Boston Legal while it is endlessly plugging Gillette, but Shatner's testosterone bit is getting a bit old if you ask me, which you didn't.

By John Eggerton