Top brands get good coverage from CBS' Undercover Boss

By T.L. Stanley on Tue Oct 26 2010

Undercover-boss1 The CBS hit reality show Undercover Boss planted its flag early as a brand showcase, primarily for the incognito honcho's place of employment. So far, that's included a lot of free/positive media exposure for Hooters, Churchill Downs, 7-Eleven, White Castle and DirecTV. But when the top dog works for Nascar—Sunday's episode followed the motor sport's CMO Steve Phelps—a whole mess of marketers got in on the act. Coca-Cola walked away with the most valuable free exposure, $437,390, with more than three minutes of air time. For one of Phelps' challenges, he wore a Coke apron while working in a trackside concession stand. (No, he's not a good fry cook). Other brands that drifted off the Nascar-themed show included Toyota, Gatorade, Sprint, NAPA and Goodyear. According to tracking firm Joyce Julius and Associates, 84 brands got some face time during the episode for nearly 30 minutes of "clear in-focus exposure time, three verbal references and an overall exposure value of $2.7 million." The series, in its second season, is still pulling in sizable audiences that tune in to see the big guy get humiliated and the little guys get rewarded. It seems obvious from brand integration studies like this one, though, who the real winners are in this TV project.


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