New Form Of Advertising From On NBC’s The Philanthropist?

Is it just me or did others catch what happened on NBC last night?

NBC debuted their new show “The Philanthropist” at 10pm PST, which  I thought it was pretty good.

But what caught my attention was the commercial for

As they went to commercial they would show a short commercial, but with a twist.  It was a commercial that added to the storyline, but then promoted

One Example:
In the show, the philanthropist decided to go to Nigeria to help a village there.  They cut to the commercial and it was a scene where the philanthropist’s body guard walks into the room and tells the philanthropist’s assistant that he needs to get to this village in Nigeria.  She mentions how she loves to see what different pictures from around the world show up on Bing’s main page each day and says it relaxs her.  Shen then types information into Bing and the commercial ends and goes onto regular commercials.  The show comes back on and they have the info and are heading to Nigeria.

They did this for at least 3 different commercial breaks.  They would break for commercial and have another short added segment with the actors using Bing.

Now think about how different this is…

I’ve seen product placements.  I’ve seen commercials that reenact scenes from shows.  But this was neither.

This was a commercial filmed on the set of the show, with actors from the show, that was a small addition to the storyline (and a part of the storyline)!

From my perspective, this seems like it could be a whole new form of advertising.

I don’t know how effective it will be to get people to actually use, but I paid attention to it much more than a regular commercial!

What do you think?  Any ideas on the effectiveness of such advertising?  Anyone ever see anything like this before?

Scott Aughtmon
I’m author of the book 51 Content Marketing Hacks. I am also a regular contributor to and I am the person behind the popular infographic 21 Types of Content We Crave.

I’m a business strategist, consultant, content creation specialist, and speaker. I’ve been studying effective marketing and business methods (both online and offline) since 1999.

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  1. Bruce Bruce
    July 2, 2009    

    I thought it was a very clever idea and like you I paid more attention to it than I might have if it were a “normal” commercial. I suspect we might see more of this type advertising in the future.

  2. Jerry Jerry
    July 3, 2009    

    I think it was very clever, and I wasn’t offended at all. In one sense, it was groundbreaking. To the best of my knowledge, it was the first time a commercial had been integrated into the show and had moved along the storyline. But in another sense, it was back to the future. In the 1960’s, sitcom characters regularly did commercials that were piggybacked to the end of the show. It wasn’t just the actors hawking products. They were in character. In the age of TiVO, we can undoubtedly expect much more product integration. Perhaps sponsors will take a lesson from the dawn of television, underwrite entire shows and cross-promote from network to network.

  3. scottaught scottaught
    July 4, 2009    

    Bruce & Jerry,

    Thanks for your comments guys. It’s good to see that others noticed this new, unique format. I didn’t know about the 60’s sitcom characters doing something similar (that was a little before my time), so thanks for mentioning it, Jerry.

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