Brandtique: Venus, Pontiac, MySpace, Dog Fancy

When is a product placement not a product placement? When it is more like a commercial.

"Entertainment Tonight" - Venus Embrace

For an "Entertainment Tonight" episode, a vignette of country singer Taylor Swift shows her shopping during a New York road trip--at a CVS/pharmacy and clothing retailer H&M, for--what else?--her music video.

What does Swift take on her trips? She tells us quite plainly--and with not a whole lot of cool dialogue--that it's the new Venus Embrace razor. She then goes on to talk about how she loves shopping, especially in New York. All that is simple and direct, without having to be sly or having a hidden organic marketing agenda. It's non-organic, actually--and that's good.

"Jimmy Kimmel" - Pontiac Vibe

"Jimmy Kimmel" has dipped into the well once too often when it comes to live, tongue-in-cheek commercial messages. In the latest rendition, we see Ed McMahon attempting to convince us he is Kimmel and telling us about the Pontiac Vibe. The final reveal is Kimmel, bound and gagged inside the liftback area of the car, escaping from the scene. It all seems kind of tired. We have seen such burlesque before.



Still, given McMahon's high-profile financial problems, we can appreciate the newsworthiness, as well as the retro ending: McMahon's asking out the beautiful model for a bite to eat at Chasen's, the notorious Hollywood eatery closed years ago.

"America's Got Talent" - MySpace

One brand entertainment agency must have paid plenty to get what seemed like a zillion MySpace mentions on NBC's summer hit "America's Got Talent"--as well as some perfectly timed weeping. I, for one, was tearfully exhausted, wanting to go into Outer Space.

Then again, it's not about quality, since research has shown there is very little negative reaction among viewers to even the most over-the-top branded entertainment efforts.

One mother tearfully explains that she found her long-lost daughter (given up for adoption years ago) because of video auditions provided by MySpace for the show. All that means is tears and emotion and a pounding message will unfortunately will be stuck inside my brain space.

"The Greatest American Dog" - Dog Fancy

One judge on this CBS summer reality show about dogs is the editor of Dog Fancy, which makes sense. That is good news for one contestant because his picture was so good the editor decided it would run in the magazine. Not much of a surprise, here. But as "organic" branded entertainment goes, this one isn't one to bark at. One good mention in viewers' brains is enough of a seed driving them to the magazine the next time they need to find that comfy dog pillow.

Now we can move onto "The Greatest American Hedgehog."




Pontiac Vibe

Jimmy Kimmel Live


America's GotTalent





Venus Embrace

Entertainment Tonight


Dog Fancy

Great American Dog


Click here to view these placements. Data and analysis provided by iTVX.
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