Brandtique: 'The Biggest Loser,' Nabisco

Increasingly, bloggers who recap episodes for TV Web sites seem to be noticing product placement and offering commentary in their summaries --often with a snarky tone. A recent example came with NBC's "The Biggest Loser."

On the Oct. 9 episode of the series, where contestants compete to shed the most pounds, the group was off to Jamaica. Then, before they departed to return stateside, one of the fitness trainers advised team members to stay away from the airline food.

His advice: take along some Nabisco 100 Calorie Packs--small bags of products from Oreos to Cheese Nips to Wheat Thins, capped at 100 calories. He delivered his suggestion as if he were a hired spokesman (which he pretty much was), touting the snack packs' ability to provide limits without sacrificing taste (one of the top product placements of the week, according to measurement firm iTVX).

"I love portion control," he said excitedly. "I love that Nabisco came out with this 100-calorie pack. You've got 100 calories right there. You want your sweet tooth, eat this ... You want something more savory ..."



One blogger's take: Why not baby carrots?

Reasonable questions aside, credit Nabisco for executing a brand integration likely to have some resonance with the audience.

For one, the plane-food dilemma is now ubiquitous--complaining about airlines' reluctance to provide more than a tiny bag of pretzels (probably with more than 100 calories), or how bad a meal was if one was indeed served aboard is now a national pastime. So, showing something -anything!--that looks appealing and easy to bring along had to create some interest (whether viewers will actually buy the bags for their next trip is still, of course, up in the air).

And while the 100 Calorie Packs have been around for more than three years, brand awareness could arguably use a lift. From a marketing perspective, Nabisco's "great grab and go option" provides a lot to work with. A bag of Chips Ahoy! with only 5% of the recommended caloric intake? Very likely, viewers of "The Biggest Loser" would be interested.

A potential winner on the product placement front.

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