The NY Times talks about the fine line that Showtime is walking by using mock magazine covers to promote the new season of its hit show Dexter.
(see story here: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/09/05/business/media/05adcol.html?scp=1&sq=advertising&st=cse. Sorry I can’t link back from the comp I’m on).
The article mentions that Red Group, the internal creative unit at Showtime, is responsible for the campaign. The ads are labeled with the disclaimer “advertisement”, so the argument is that there should be no confusion as to whether or not it’s an ad. They reported that the estimated budget for this campaign is about $4.6 million. When I saw the ads in the subway I did give them a second glance. But are they enough to move viewers to change their dials to Showtime?