Intentional product placement or not?

For instances where it seems like product placement (or targeted advertising, essentially the same thing) might be involved, but you’re not entirely sure…

My example: The episode of Lost “One of Us” is in syndication and the epsiode where Juliet discovers Ben has a tumor, and he has to prove to her that Jacob has cured her sister of cancer, was run last night along with a commercial for Cancer Treatment Centers of America. :eek: Was this a coincidence, or did the marketing people for ABC seek them out specifically? Your own examples, please! (Include anything relevant in any medium including SDMB google ads)…

I always see commercials for the Cancer Treatment Centers of America during syndicated shows. I don’t think it has anything to do with Lost or their cancer related plot and everything to do with the fact that the Cancer Treatment Centers of America like to advertise during syndicated reruns of hour-long dramas.

It can be product placement or not. When a person buys an ad spot on a TV station it can be done show specific and time specific or it can be done as what’s called a “time spot.”

You can request your commercial be played on a specific show and at a specific time in that show OR you can just buy a block of time.

The difference is a block of time is much cheaper. You can say “I’d like to air my commerical” and if you buy a “time block” the TV station is allowed to air it anywhere where the contract specifies. Usually it says something like “WWTV can air said commercial any time between the hours of 10am - 10pm, on any show Monday through Friday, on any show that has more than a 1.0 rating and/or 10 share.”

As you can see it would be much easier for everyone to purchase a “block of time” rather than purchase a specific time. Therefore it’s much cheaper with a time block.

So one can’t say for sure whether it was a co-incidence or not that particular commercial aired.

One thing TV stations do do is prescreen all shows so that no conflict airs. Like they wouldn’t want Elaine to cuss Jerry out for making her laugh with a PEZ dispenser than having a PEZ commerical come up next

Last Friday, on Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution, Oliver – who prides himself on getting people to eat fresh and preferably organic food – starts talking about how frozen is nearly as good, all with a big close up of a Green Giant steamer package the entire time.

Cut to a commercial – for Green Giant Steamers.

I can’t believe that was a coincidence.

Of course, this subtle manipulation is offset by the sheer randomness of tampon ads during cartoon shows.

A little boy goes to a drugstore and says “I’d like to buy a box of Tampax, please.”. The clerk is puzzled, and asks him why he wants them. “Because the ads say that with Tampax, you can swim or ride a bike, and I can’t do either of those.”