Just Asking

That would be MTV or VH-1 networks. Three- to four-minute commercials that are paid for by the music label—so it will influence the viewer to go out and buy the album. They call them videos, but what’s the difference? And viewers think it’s programming.

If you mean which show does the best by using product placement and [viewers are] unaware because it’s relatively subtle. … The CSI shows and the Law & Order shows do a nice job with automobiles and computer equipment. If you mean who’s more overt, I’ve seen Panera bags in Committed, Dunkin’ Donuts stuff in King of Queens. —Peter Seronick evp/cd, Allen & Gerritsen, Watertown, Mass.

I much more prefer when a product is integrated into the story line, as in The Apprentice. It may feel obvious, but for me it’s more upfront and respectful of viewers than, say, a product plant approach like American Idol that crams products into every possible place … logical or not. It’s just not working for me, dog.

Right off the top of my head, I’d have to say The Apprentice. They literally are building programs around a specific product or brand. Instead of just a moment, many times an hour’s devoted to it. —

The Apprentice [contestants creating a sandwich for] Burger King stands out as the most powerful example. Two years ago, even last season, BK wouldn’t have even been on the radar for The Apprentice. It’s only through their own branding efforts that it lends a cool vibe to the context it’s in. Both brands [Trump and BK] had a halo effect on each other.