USA's 'Psych' and Kia cars smoothly drive their cross-promotion

Posted on Fri Aug 7 2009

A couple of cops are chasing down a purse snatcher, so you know right away this is TV and not real life, certainly not in any major city in the country. One cop tackles the bad guy while the other fixates on a Kia sedan parked at the curb. "It has Bluetooth!" he shouts. Doesn't take much to distract that guy. The spot, a promo for the new season of USA Network's Psych, premiering tonight, does an affable job of mashing up characters from a hit show with a major sponsor. Detectives Julie O'Hara (Maggie Lawson) and Carlton Lassiter (Tim Omundson) star in the ad, alongside the Kia Forte. (The car has Sirius satellite radio, MP3 connections and other gadgets, which we'll probably hear about in future promos or see in product placement on the show). The Kia-Psych partnership is in year two, coming on the heels of a successful campaign earlier this year with show stars James Roday and Dule Hill. If blurring the line between entertainment and advertising could always be this good natured, maybe people wouldn't gripe about it so much.

—Posted by T.L. Stanley

Hoover cleans your screen of annoying bugs, snipes and crawls

Posted on Tue Apr 7 2009

Ever want to wipe all those distracting graphics off the bottom half of your TV screen and just, you know, watch the show? Adrian Monk feels your pain. During a Monk marathon this past weekend on USA Network, the obsessive-compulsive detective "sanitized" the screen with the help of an animated vacuum from sponsor Hoover. Clean Screen Day happened on Sunday, but it continues all week with Clean House Week, as the neatnik trick is applied to prime-time airings of the medical drama House on USA. That guy's real clutter-conscious, too.
  The integration deal is the latest push for Hoover's new Platinum Collection of dirt busters, which apparently work great on gratuitous promos tossed around the TV screen. (How are they with hairballs?) I've already had the marketer's current "Clean freaks rejoice" campaign in my crosshairs for its misuse of the classic Etta James love song "At Last," reimagined as an ode to housekeeping. (That's the one of the TV spots shown here.) But the Monk tie-in seems like one of the most logical around, with a no-mess execution that makes it fun and useful. (You can even go to the Web site and Hoover up some computer-generated crud, if you're so moved.) In other words, the whole deal sucks. But it doesn't.

—Posted by T.L. Stanley


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