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In character advertisements

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Celebrities frequently pitch products on TV. However, while a given actor may act like his character in an ad, he is doing only that - I have not seen ads by characters in TV shows. There is often product placement, which is different.

There is really no reason why this should not happen, except for that the advertiser would contract with the owners of the show. Imagine an episonde of Law and Order. They break for a commercial, but instead of song and dance, you are back in NYC with the same characters. Still in character, they pitch a product - perhaps stopping for a soft drink, etc. Or that guy in Friends who supposedly is an actor in the show - he could be shown in an ad, still in character.

Not only would this be an effective way to advertise (presumably the watchers of the show like the characters enough to pay attention to the ad), it would help curtail the use of this Tivo tech that allows people to skip ads altogether. If L&O viewers thought they might get to see a little soliloquy by Lenny on the virutes of Folgers, they might stay tuned in.

Finally, this would be a way to milk successful franchises for a little extra $. For example, a Cheers reprise as a short ad would bring a smile to all the Cheers fans out there, who would then regard the product more favorably.

bungston, Nov 03 2003

When Stars Did The Commercials http://www.tvparty.com/vaultcomsp.html
Some examples. Don't miss Carol Channing eating Jell-O in Nazi Germany! [darksasami, Oct 05 2004, last modified Oct 21 2004]

Flintston tastes good? http://www.moderntv.../qtclips/flint1.htm
Woohoo! Found the Flintstones smoking link. [darksasami, Oct 05 2004, last modified Oct 21 2004]

[link]






       About the fishbone, it's standard for any idea to increase advertising's reach into my life. However, I do think your technique will be effective. It seems baked to me, but I can think of no examples.
Worldgineer, Nov 03 2003
  

       Dude, Mr. T does this in the 1800-call-something commercials ... and so does Carrot Top - his comedy routine is as equally bad as his martekability.
Letsbuildafort, Nov 03 2003
  

       They still do it on AM talk radio.
Laughs Last, Nov 03 2003
  

       [Fort] - guys like T, CarrotTop, etc as well as sports figures, wrestlers etc own their own characters as part of their acts/personas. So they can play these characters in ads. The actor Matt LeBlanc does not own his Friends character and so if he decided he would makes some $ by doing an ad using his character, the show owners would stop him. The idea: an ad using the characters, context and writers of a show. As [World] mentions, it seemed to me this had been done, but then I could think of no examples.
bungston, Nov 03 2003
  

       AAAAH, I see ... ok ... Thank you for explaining that to me ... good idea indeed, but I agree with [World] about the "Increasing advertising's reach into my life." statement.
Letsbuildafort, Nov 03 2003
  

       I just think [World]'s a great guy. We can all learn a lesson from him.
Worldgineer, Nov 03 2003
  

       Easy enough to do. Instead of the "Friends" cast meeting at "Central Perk" they begin to meet at Starbucks. The problem comes when the CEO of Starbucks is revealed to be a pedophile and you've gone through all the effort of aligning your show with them. Insert Arthur Anderson, WorldCom, Enron, Adelphia Communications, Quest Communications, Duke Energy, Tyco, et al as you see fit.
phoenix, Nov 03 2003
  

       This is what commercials used to be. If you look around, you can find all kinds of commercials from the 50s and 60s along these lines. There's the one with Aunt Bee serving Grape-Nuts to Andy and Opie, Hogan's Heroes pushing Jell-O, and my favorite--Fred Flintstone and Barney Rubble enjoying the smooth taste of Winston cigarettes while Betty and Wilma mow the lawn.   

       Addendum: this gets a croissant just for making me go back and watch those old commercials. Although I also blame this idea for my mental scarring after learning how much bestiality porn comes up when you Google '"Andy Griffith" jello horse'.
darksasami, Nov 04 2003
  

       Actually, has anyone seen "The Trueman Show". It may only be a movie, thus fictional, but didn't that use the same idea (but with fictional products).
TheCoat, Mar 08 2004
  
      
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