Jewel Can’t Drive 55

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USA Today looks at one of my favorite topics—the explosion of content solutions brought to client tables by agencies.

Gillette is producing an ABC prime-time reality series starring the group of NASCAR drivers — dubbed the “Young Guns” — who are featured in its TV ads and online. Gillette is a NASCAR sponsor for each driver and his race team.
Gillette’s ad agency, BBDO New York, came up with the idea for a reality show in which the pro drivers would teach celebrities how to race cars. The result: Fast Cars and Superstars: Gillette Young Guns Celebrity Race, in which stars such as William Shatner and Jewel will compete in time-trial driving tests. The program will begin June 7 at 8 p.m.
“We’re seeing a blurring between advertising and entertainment,” says Steve Fund, Gillette marketing director. “It’s a new business model.”

Other brand-owned content plays mentioned in the piece:

  • To promote Snake Peel Shower Scrub, Axe and ad agency Bartle Bogle Hegarty created a half-hour special for Spike TV called Exposing The Order of The Serpentine.
  • Ad agency Cramer-Krasselt produced its Ultimate Playground powered by Bombardier Recreational Products (BRP), a 10-part ESPN2 adventure series featuring BRP boats, all-terrain vehicles and snowmobiles.
  • Toyota and its agency Saatchi & Saatchi, Los Angeles created a one-hour Speed channel special Two Roads to Baja.
About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative direction at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.