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So You Think You Do Brand Integration?

May 29, 2008  •  Post A Comment

Some of the folks who got you humming to the tune of product placements on “American Idol” are hoping they can put some spring in your step with more of the same in “So You Think You Can Dance.”
Fox Broadcasting, 19 Entertainment and Dick Clark Productions said Unilever’s Snuggle fabric softener and Extra Fruit Sensations Gums will be official sponsors of the fourth season of “Dance,” and the brands will have a big presence in the show.
Product placement and brand integration have become a big part of the television landscape.
Not coincidentally, TV’s biggest show, “American Idol,” is also the industry’s leader in product placement. “Dance” is also a big player.
During the first half of last year, “American Idol,” also on Fox and from 19 Entertainment, was No. 1 in terms of product placement among broadcast shows with 4,349 occurrences, according to Nielsen. “Dance” was eighth with 1,053. (By the end of the year, “Dance” had fallen off the top-10 list.)
These days, product placement and brand integration strategies are a lot more sophisticated than simply putting a corporate logo on the judges’ desks.
Unilever is using “So You Think You Can Dance” as part of the launch of its new Snuggle With Fresh Release product. The fabric softener is working with the show to create a Happy Dances theme.
While the program shows successful contestants doing Happy Dances, Snuggle will sponsor in-show segments featuring regular people showing off their own happy dances. Viewers can submit happy-dance videos to www.fox.com/dance. They also can enter a sweepstakes with the top prize of a trip to the “Dance” finale.
A small banner on the “Dance” Web site invites viewers to enter the sweepstakes, while a Display ad urges viewers to upload their dancing videos.
Wrigley’s also will have a branded segment within “Dance.” That sponsorship is designed to showcase the endurance, energy and determination of the contestants, echoing Extra’s long-running “long-lasting” campaign.
It brings to mind the old question: Can you dance and chew gum at the same time?
“Dance’s” two-hour premiere on May 22 drew a 3.5 rating among adults 18-49, putting Fox in the No. 2 position in the time period. The show competed with the blockbuster season finale of
“Grey’s Anatomy” on ABC. ”Dance” increased Fox’s ratings in the time period by 59% from the average of the previous four weeks.
That said, the show was down 5% from last year’s first installment, when it went up against reruns on the other four networks.

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