Show Me: iTVX Rates Best TV Placements In 2007

Measurement firm iTVX has tabbed a Jaguar brand integration on a recent episode of VH1's "America's Most Smartest Model" as the top product placement on a reality show in 2007. In second place came Donald Trump--technically "The Apprentice"--who employed his mother to plug Renuzit air freshener.

Calling it "a great product" as he introduced the challenge for the contestants--to create a 60-second spot for the brand--Trump said: "It was one of my mother's favorite products." Then, throughout that April 15 episode, Renuzit saw numerous product shots and verbal plugs.

On the Dec. 2 episode of "Smartest Model," Jaguar used the show to promote the launch of its new XKR convertible. Contestants had to act as spokesmodels and give a presentation touting the flashy XKR--and they did so enthusiastically. "Yesterday, I got to ride in a new Jaguar XKR ... and my heart kept fluttering," said one. Another said: "The XKR hit the markets December of last year, or should I say intimidated the markets in December of last year?"



The iTVX firm has a propriety system where it uses a range of gauges--from the amount of product shots to the level of story-line integrations in scripted shows--to determine performance for a brand integration or product placement. Its rankings of the leading 2007 placements do not take into account whether a placement was paid for by an advertiser, only exposure levels.

Overall, four of the top five--and five of the top six--placements last year took place on reality shows, though the overall leader was video game "Guitar Hero" in Comedy Central's "South Park" on Nov. 7.

In third place for reality series--behind "Smartest Model" and "The Apprentice"--was an integration for Procter & Gamble's Secret Scent Expressions on the CW network's "Pussycat Dolls Present: The Search for the Next Doll" on April 17. In that episode, contestants participated in a commercial shoot for the brand.

In fourth place was a Scrabble integration on the Food Network's "Ace of Cakes" episode on April 19. That was followed by "Etch-a-Sketch" on the "Late Show with David Letterman" on Nov. 2. On that episode, a master portraitist with the device appeared--and while conducting a give-and-take with the host, finished one of his jaw-dropping creations in what appeared to be real time.

In rankings for the top-five placements for scripted shows in 2007, the "Guitar Hero" link with Comedy Central's animated "South Park" finished on top. "Guitar Hero" has a role in the storyline throughout the episode, helping to account for the integration coming in as iTVX's top placement for any show--reality or scripted--last year.

Next up in the scripted-show category was Home Depot's appearance on the April 16 episode of CBS comedy "The New Adventures of Old Christine," where characters spend time at the store and give it a plug.

That was followed by the Life board game on the Oct. 10 episode of Comedy Central's "Sarah Silverman Program," where characters play the game on a double date. Next came handheld vacuum cleaner Dirt Devil's role in the premiere episode of CW's "Reaper" (which aired Sept. 25), with the product playing a role in the story line where it's given magical powers.

In fifth place for scripted shows was Cadillac's integration on the Aug. 23 episode of USA drama "Burn Notice," where a supporting character gets a car as a gift from his girlfriend.

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