Danger, Will Robinson, Danger!

As interesting as this sounds, this can’t be a good thing (certainly not for the audience):

‘Suburgatory’ Character Jumps From the Show Into Ad Breaks — Is This the Future of the TV Business? (Ad Age/TVWeek.Com)

As part of a trend designed to get viewers of television programming to stick around for the commercials, ABC’s “Suburgatory” is letting a character from the show stray into commercials for Lowe’s, Advertising Agereports.

“TV networks are allowing characters from the shows to stick around for a while and hawk product,” the piece reports. “On Wednesday, Sheila Shay, a butt-insky neighbor known for the attention she dollops on her garden, home and the lives of those living around her in the sitcom’s fictional suburb of Chatswin, will hold forth on the advantages of buying goods at Lowe’s and using the home-improvement retail chain’s MyLowe’s tool to track purchases and organize their homes.”

“This is what all of our clients are asking for, and it’s only going to increase,” says Claudia Cahill, chief content officer at Omnicom Group’s OMD, which helped put the deal together on Lowe’s behalf. “It’s just the future of the business.”

The report adds: “The simple truth is that TV fans don’t tune in to see the ads; they switch the set on (or seek out programming on digital devices) to see the shows themselves. By taking specific characters from favorite programs and letting them loose as pitchmen in the commercial breaks, advertisers and TV networks hope to keep couch potatoes’ gaze upon the screen and their hands off the remote or mouse or iPhone home button.”

Wonder what the financial arrangement is here for the writers who created the characters. Does the WGAw Minimum Basic Agreement guarantee a royalty for a character used outside the show?

One thought on “Danger, Will Robinson, Danger!

  1. geraldsanford says:

    Interesting. But not surprising. There will come a time when commercials will float over your eyeballs, but not between MIDNIGHT & 7 a.m. I beg of you, “Be thankful for small favors.” gs

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