On November 11, viewers of the ABC primetime soap will see original interstitials with cast members in the retailers’ new holiday fashion collection. Instead of the usual ads, Target and Neiman Marcus will be the sole sponsors of the entire hour of Revenge that Sunday night, ABC announced today. All network ad space will feature the content incorporating Target/Neiman Marcus clothes. Only local affiliate ad space will feature other advertisers.
This is the first time ABC has entered into this kind of product integration agreement with a dual sponsor that involves series’ talent in the sponsorship messages via product integration interstitials. But it’s not the first time a network has tried a product integration approach in an attempt to overcome the ad-skipping tendencies of DVR users. In 2009, Fox’s 24 had a season-long integration with Hyundai featuring Kiefer Sutherland’s Jack Bauer behind the wheel of a Genesis. During Ben Silverman’s reign, NBC used integration on shows like Friday Night Lights (NBC’s Sunday NFL games, Under Armour sportswear and Applebee’s), Heroes (Nissan and Sprint), Chuck (Subway) and the Knight Rider reboot (Ford). Not everyone takes product integration so seriously. Since its 2006 debut, 30 Rock has made mocking TV networks’ attempts at product integration a consistent theme in its shows.