The Reality of Yahoo?

When you think of reality television, what do you think of? My guess is its most likely Mark Burnett. He started the whole reality craze with "Survivor."

Well it seems Burnett and none other than Mr. Trump have penned a deal with Yahoo! to produce and sell ads for "The Apprentice" and "The Contender." And what do you think Yahoo! is getting out of it? Genuine U.S. grade product placement and a boatload of traffic, dear readers. Picture contestants in "The Apprentice" rushing down a busy Manhattan street. A taxi goes by and on top of the taxi is a HotJobs sign. Or, how about offering 40 minutes of extra video footage each week available on the site only.

If you read the SPIN you've most likely heard me stick my neck on the line about the changing landscape of media. I truly believe that 30-second second spots are dying. I also believe that television is in jeopardy by devices such as the DVR. Consumers want choices. They also want to be in control. That's why I feel that advertisers need to step up to the plate and get creative. Product placement and integration is the key to success in the future of media as we'll know it.



Just think of shows like "The Apprentice" for the moment. If you are not an avid watcher, you've probably tuned in to see it once. And come on, everyone loves the now-famous Trumpism, "You're fired." Every time I have watched it I get aggravated because no online entity has been branded or co-branded in the show.

Contestants hoop jump to get through the next task. They flock to their laptops and cell phones. There have been long scenes with search engines. Well thank goodness for Yahoo! I don't know what took them so long, but I think the agreement is a slam dunk.

If you haven't already heard the buzz, terms were not disclosed. However, Yahoo! will use its Yahoo! TV, Yahoo! Messenger, Yahoo! HotJobs, Yahoo! Finance and its Launch music properties in both shows. Yahoo! previously worked with "The Apprentice" last season. "The Contender" airs on Feb. 21.

In turn, opportunities on the sites will include sponsorships and broadband video ads. "The Contender" site will display original content and video advertising, some of the boxing matches streamed, and an IMvironment for Yahoo! messenger where users can box against each other. Burnett will manage the microsite.

"Yahoo has the unique ability to provide dedicated fans the opportunity to be more engaged with their favorite shows through exclusive content that allows them to go deeper into the show," said Mark Burnett in a statement. "Yahoo provides our avid fans with information and content that lets them have fun with the characters, the products, and other elements of our shows. We're pleased at the value this provides fans of our shows, like 'The Apprentice.'"

Last season, the candidates on "The Apprentice" had to design Levi's Jeans. After the show, people flocked to the Yahoo! site and searched for Apprentice Jeans. They were able to link to an advertiser (JC Penney) and buy them. You'll see more this season. Mark my words, everyone will be searching for gelato.

At a time when online advertising has reached a high again, Yahoo! is at the head of the pack. Not only is it profitable, it has diversified into entertainment and video. We'd be fools not to follow the leader in this case. So what do you think? Do you think this deal will mark the beginning of a trend in the digital media landscape? What is the reality of TV and how does it relate to online? Post your thoughts to the SPIN board.

Next story loading loading..