ABC, known in marketing circles for its resistance to giving advertisers flamboyant tie-ins to its most popular shows, is now suddenly allowing a "Star Trek" ad placement in the title of its
show "Lost." While ABC intends to remain "very, very selective" about making such program elements available to advertisers, the network is "open to it," says Geri Wang, ABC senior vice president.
Insiders say many broadcast and cable players are now more willing to talk with marketers about how to incorporate their brands into their content. For instance, the April 14 episode of CW's "90210" sported characters going on a road trip with a cooler filled with Dr Pepper. One of the main characters even uttered the line: "We're on a road trip! Drinking Dr Pepper is practically a requirement."
Marketers also admit they have become more aggressive about tie-ins. Expect more of the technique from Subway, for example. "We're doing [placements] as an ongoing way of making sure we get to the audience," says Tony Pace, Subway executive.