That sound you hear is the brick that network TV is shitting trying to justify ad rates to Madison Ave.:
The “Yes, Dear” episode in April 2005 marked the first commercial use of a patent-pending innovation dubbed Digital Brand Integration, or DBI, developed by New York-based Marathon Ventures, and grew out of an unprecedented marketing deal with CBS.
Since then, CBS has used the technology to plug brands such as StarKist Tuna and Chevrolet on several other shows, including the hit police drama “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation” and new sitcom “How I Met Your Mother.”
David Brenner, founder and president of Marathon, said his company expects to unveil a new pact soon with the Fox network, a unit of News Corp. Ltd.
Blending brand names and products into television shows, as opposed to traditional ads that run during commercial breaks, has gained greater currency in recent years as the industry faces the rising popularity of TiVo and other devices that let viewers skip commercials.
Product placement and integration (or PPI as it is referred to in the biz) has always been a long shot at best. TV advertising is an amorphous world since there is no exact way to measure just how many people saw your ad. PPI extends this voodo magic even further by causing normal people to somehow believe that they will instantly purchase product X just by seeing it integrated into their favorite character’s hands.
The last gasps of TV are going to be interesting indeed. We are just eagerly awaiting for the day that TV eliminates 30 second spots altogether to return to a live-only variety show format called the “Texaco Star Theater” starring Milton Berle. You’ve come a long way baby, full circle that is.