It’s no secret that viewership is more fragmented in today’s market.
Advertisers and media buyers need new ways to keep people involved with programming and advertising. TV Land is opting for live commercials during the season premiers of two shows. Delivered by cast members of the shows during live episodes, these commercials may be a stunt or a well placed advertising strategy.
A return to live commercials. The method was once the mainstay of television. Cast commercials featured the stars of television shows and often happened live. They were common when marketers and agencies both owned the series and created the content and the ads viewers saw on television.
TV Land, a Viacom cable channel, is presenting live season premiere episodes of two series, “Hot in Cleveland” and “The Soul Man.” The characters would also cross over between the shows.
One live commercial for the Toyota Highlander will appear during “Hot in Cleveland.” It will be delivered by the main cast members: Valerie Bertinelli, Jane Leeves, Wendie Malick and Betty White. The other live commercial is for Bush’s Grillin’ Beans and it will appear during “The Soul Man.” This commercial will be delivered by a series star, Niecy Nash.
Viewers will be able to see the two commercials live along with the two shows in the Eastern and Central time zones from 10-11 p.m Eastern and 9-10 p.m. Central. In other time zones, the commercials and shows will be taped and presented as a rebroadcast.
This will be the second time “Hot in Cleveland” has been broadcast live but the first time an episode has included a live commercial. There has not been a previous live broadcast of “The Soul Man.”
Live programming will bring new energy and excitement. The idea behind the live show and commercials was to bring a new energy to the show. It would make it a challenge and give it an added layer. Involving the cast members would make it fun for them, too. If the live cast commercial goes well, this tactic may be tried again as a way to capture viewers’ interest – which is exactly what media buyers need them to do.