GM's Pontiac division sold 7,100 new Solstice two-seat roadsters within 10 days after the vehicle played a major role in "Apprentice 3." Staples sold more than 20,000 units of the "Desk Apprentice" invented on "Apprentice 3" within six weeks after the episode aired last season.
But what happened to that special Burger King's Angus Steak burger after its "Apprentice" ride last year? It's still on the menu after a little bump in sales. But can the product's association with the TV show account for any kind of long-term results?
What about the Ciao Bella Gelato featured on "The Apprentice"? It's been a whole year since it appeared.
A three-, five-, or seven-week media plan may not be designed for bigger long-term projections. Branded entertainment efforts are seemingly designed for even quicker hits -- and no more than that.
The next stage should be analyzing branded efforts for the long term. There are few examples of such long-running campaigns, such as Coca-Cola on "American Idol" for all these seasons. Do viewers still respond to those cups sitting by Simon, Paula, and Randy?
What about Coke's other branded entertainment stuff? It would seem harder to pull off different consecutive product placement/integration deals. Might viewers then get burnt-out seeing Coke everywhere, or seeing reality-show contestants driving around in Hondas, or any brand-named car, for that matter?
Creative ideas for branded entertainment need to be more than a quick drive around the block.