Staples Puts Spotlight On Its Shredder's Star Turn

In what it hopes will turn out to be a product placement coup, Staples has snagged a starring role for its $69.99 MailMate junk-mail shredder on Thursday night's episode of "The Office" on NBC.

To make sure people know about it, the Framingham, Mass.-based office products retailer sent an e-mail to its Staples Rewards customers on Friday, with a cast photo and plot teaser: "Our MailMate shredder has a bottomless appetite and will appear on the hit comedy series, The Office. See for yourself on Thursday, Nov. 16--It puts on quite the performance."

In addition to customer emails, Staples will also promote the Nov. 16 show online, and with in-store displays.

Last year, Staples had a product in a key appearance on "The Apprentice," and was pleased with the results, said Catherine Cusack, vice president of brand programs, via a spokesperson. Staples said the deal was secured through Davie-Brown Entertainment, its product placement agency.

Such placement essentially makes marketing messages TiVo-proof, and the company said it will continue to shift its ad budget toward such product placement and away from conventional advertising. Because Staples has characteristically relied on humor in its ads, an office-based comedy seemed a natural fit, Cusack said.



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