Commentary

Cruising for a Branded Entertainment Bruising

Rushing for branded entertainment? Make sure no one gets hurt in the process - or at least have your floatation device strapped on tight.

The storm-battered Norwegian Dawn, which was quickly making its way back to New York from the Bahamas, was scheduled to shoot an episode for "The Apprentice," according to the New York Post. The show's producers, Mark Burnett Productions and Donald Trump Productions, planned to pay the Norwegian Cruise Line a $1 million fee for the use of its ship.

The ship would have been associated with a prize the show regularly gives to the winning team of a particular task. Of course, if the newspaper were right, this would be a bit unusual since most advertisers pay for the privilege to get on "The Apprentice."

It seems that, according to sources in the story, the ship was a little too aggressive in trying to make its show date - and as a result it was tossed around among gale force winds and 70-foot waves.

Back in 1912 when the Titanic sank, legend had it that its captain was too aggressive as well - trying to best the Atlantic Ocean crossing time record. That zeal didn't give the ship adequate time to slow down after encountering an iceberg.

The result: Passenger ship on the rocks.

No doubt had the captain completed the voyage in record time, he would have been interviewed by all media of the day - radio shows and newspapers. The record itself would have been used as part of a traditional marketing campaign of the day - in print and perhaps radio advertising.

Perhaps his ship's effort would have been part of some elaborate branded entertainment marketing plan that would have furthered the name of its owner, White Star Line. No doubt the definition, 'titanic,' would be associated with speed not sinking objects.

From all evidence, it doesn't seem like modern-day advertisers are rushing to use hip, new entertainment marketing tricks to make the cash register ring.

The only rush comes from the apprentices themselves in producing poor TV commercials, weak marketing campaigns, and lame brochures for products such as Dove Cool Moisture Body Wash, Burger King, and Pontiac.

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