McDonald's gets a new clown and then some, thanks to NBC

Posted on Tue Jul 14 2009

Jay.Leno When NBC said Jay Leno's new prime-time show would be a willing home for advertiser pitches, it wasn't kidding. The custom-created set's nearly as big as an airplane hangar, with plenty of room for Leno to drive his beloved classic cars, and presumably a sponsor's, on stage. He's likely to do live commercials, a tactic that's both a throwback to TV's early days and one used in current daytime chat shows.  Now, NBC is partnering with McDonald's to promote The Jay Leno Show with the launch of a month-long Monopoly game. Leno will get exposure in McD's 13,000 restaurants, which could be a real boon for his move from late night to 10 p.m. (There are a lot of naysayers on how well this time switch will work out). And the fast food chain will get a mini-version of its restaurant on the show, which is a precedent setter. The game works like this: Stars of NBC shows will roll dice—yes, synergy at work. Consumers will win as much as $1 million in cash. And Leno will frame it all with advertiser-friendly banter. That's one way to deal with the current ad climate, where marketers want the most bang out of their buck, including new levels of brand integration and talent involvement. What remains to be seen is how the audience reacts to such front-and-center shilling. 

—Posted by T.L. Stanley

Jay Leno and Pepsi team up to make Detroit laugh for a change

Posted on Tue Mar 10 2009

Leno

Late-night veteran and soon-to-be prime-time star Jay Leno is responding to the national call to give back to the community with "Jay's Comedy Stimulus Plan," a free show he'll do for jobless folks in Detroit next month. The brand-friendly comedian will have Pepsi by his side, too. (The company advertises on The Tonight Show.) Leno said Tuesday morning on The View that he approached the soda behemoth about the sponsorship, though it was probably just a matter of time until the marketer made the move. Could there be a more perfect match between such a feel-good event and the pie-eyed optimism of Pepsi's current (South Park-parodied) ad campaign?
  Leno chose Detroit because it has one of the highest unemployment rates in the country (upwards of 11 percent), and he's a life-long car buff. Plus, he said, he has no other marketable skills in this hobbled economic climate. Might as well tell jokes, and it's a good bet the auto industry, which has laid off so many people in the area, won't go unscathed. The show will take place April 7 at The Palace, home of the Detroit Pistons, with Pepsi subsidizing refreshments and free parking. Goodwill all around!

—Posted by T.L. Stanley


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