Carat Buys More Than :60, Arranges '60 Minutes' Exclusive For Philips

By selling an entire upcoming "60 Minutes" show to Royal Philips Electronics in an exclusive sponsorship deal, CBS has given media agency executives some hope in addressing the long-time commercial clutter problem.

CBS wouldn't go into much detail, other than to say the national advertising time in the show would be cut in half. Typically, hour-long prime-time shows carry around 10 minutes of national advertising time. The extra five minutes of content time will be given back to the show. The special show airs October 23.

Stories scheduled to be broadcast in the special "60 Minutes" include the story of a former U.S. Army sergeant whose Cold War-era desertion to North Korea turned into 40 years of captivity, an interview with basketball legend Michael Jordan, and a story about musical savants. The first two "60 Minutes" stories will air uninterrupted by commercials.

Philips' limited commercial messaging will center on its new "Sense & Simplicity" branding campaign. Creative work was handled by Philip's agency, DDB Worldwide.



Carat USA, Philips' media agency, put together the deal with CBS--which marks one of the first high-profile media deals since Ray Warren joined the company as president of Carat Media Group Americas.

Warren said in a release: "As viewer choice and ease of commercial avoidance increase, all marketing partners... need to collaborate to find ways to keep viewers engaged and receptive to commercial messaging." He added: "This is a grand experiment."

Interestingly, whereas most big marketing network deals these days center around product placement and product integration into content, the Philips deal is more of an old-fashioned marketing sponsorship--just traditional commercial messaging.

While other networks have sold exclusive sponsorship deals to advertisers in single episodes of programs, CBS hasn't participated as much. CBS did sell a single-sponsorship to an automotive for a Bruce Springsteen concert some years ago, according to a CBS spokesman.

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