Extreme marketing, incestuous edition

Chik_lil_runningman_2No one has yet clucked that the sky is falling because of the more imbricated marketing alliances in television, but one spot that aired during Extreme Makeover: Home Edition on Sunday stood out, even more than a garden-variety product placement scene in which an interior designer shops at Sears for a stereo system fit for the builders’ Maine log mansion. Chicken Little, the animated character from the nation’s current top box-office draw, carried a teetering tower of gifts after holiday shopping at Sears. Pretty simple, right? Just try to follow the money: Sears is a major sponsor of, and gets promotional consideration from, Extreme Makeover, which airs on ABC, which is owned by Disney, which made and markets Chicken Little. One wonders if, in deals this incestuous, anyone actually gets paid or if this isn’t rather an example of the television world becoming, in the words of Network’s Arthur Jensen, “one vast and ecumenical holding company for whom all men will work to serve a common profit.”

—Posted by Gregory Solman