By Kristen Manias
With marketers and advertisers feeling more pressure to avoid the fast forwarding of their TV commercials, a new trend has started to emerge in TV spots. Certain companies have started to implement campaigns that actually extend the TV shows they are airing with.
Chevrolet recently participated in this new type of advertising with their “Car Hunters” campaign. Airing their commercials during the show “House Hunters” on HGTV, the three 60-second spots are made to resemble the feel of the show. The show premises around couples searching for the perfect home and after being shown different options, they choose the one that is right for them. The ads play off of this by showing consumers having to make a choice between three different cars, and of course, they end up picking the Chevrolet.
Chevrolet is not the first to use this campaign and will definitely not be the last. During the finale of “Lost” on ABC, Target ran a series of ads that played off of “life on the island.” Porsche is also about to take on a campaign similar to Chevrolet with the new show “Brad Meltzer’s Decoded” airing on the History Channel. The show follows Brad on his search for historical codes and symbols in famous places, while the commercials will focus on the origin of the Porsche crest and the new design features of the car as well as being the vehicle-of-choice in all 10 episodes of the program.
The idea behind these campaigns is that the ad becomes an extension of what the consumer is already watching. They will then be more inclined to stay tuned in instead of grabbing the remote to fast forward.
Although seemingly a great idea, the TV networks and marketers are not taking this new trend lightly. The networks know their audiences value their programs, and if the ads start to overpower the shows, credibility is at stake. Just as importantly, implementing the perfect campaign becomes a challenge for marketers as well. They need to make sure they are not just relating the commercials to the shows, but making a relevant connection that the consumer will understand and appreciate.
This new trend is likely to continue if found effective, but as a viewer, hopefully the clear distinction between program and commercial remains. Advertisements are known for pushing the limits as to what consumers find tolerable and just plain annoying. Finding that thin line and not crossing it is essential for this growing trend to succeed.