Gladys Santiago

TNT Going Commercial-Free with Leverage’s Product Placements

Posted in Product Placements by Gladys Santiago on December 6, 2008

 

TNT will premiere its new original series Leverage this Sunday, Dec. 7.  The show, starring Timothy Hutton, will be presented courtesy of heavy in-program placements for Hyundai Genesis, DirecTV and Hewlett-Packard.  The brands have been described as supporting characters and will help drive the show’s plot, demonstrating the evolving, complex and often times, subversive nature of brand integrations. 

Leverage is another indication of the television industry embracing a throwback approach to minimizing production costs by recruiting single sponsors  (think Texaco Star Theater).  This ad model was popular and successful during television’s early years, but with the proliferation of segmented audiences, it seems extremely risky especially if a program generates less than desirable ratings.  General Motors recently partnered with NBC to feature Chevrolet vehicles throughout the short-lived My Own Worst Enemy.  The Camaro and Traverse vehicles didn’t play an important role in the show’s plot, but they served as way to amplify the dichotomy of Christian Slater’s characters/split personalities.  As Brian Stelter illustrates in this NY Times article, when a product-heavy show is canceled, the marketing campaign is as well.  Click here for images of product placements in My Own Worst Enemy.   

TNT and its advertisers hope Leverage dodges the proverbial cancellation bullet by attracting an engaged audience through various integrated marketing campaigns.  In addition, TNT has launched interactive features like LeverageHQ.com where viewers can join the Leverage team, complete missions related to the plot and compete to win $100,000.  Hyundai seems to have a lot riding on the program.  Dodge has also sponsored limited-commercial programming with Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, in which its Ram truck has been heavily featured in the show.  Click here for images of product placements in Sarah Connor.  

 via: Commercial Alert