To Hold The Line, Or Not Hold The Line? That Is The Question

Ad Age is reporting on the vanishing line between content and advertising, and using Dr. Pepper’s spot last week on NBC’s “30 Rock,” as an example.

Yes, it’s true, in the early days of TV, networks were happy to mix commerce and content, with talk-show hosts also serving as pitchmen. Many of them do that now. But Dr Pepper’s spot offered a slight twist on the format by saying nothing explicit about “30 Rock” or about NBC. It just used a character from NBC’s “30 Rock” for Dr Pepper’s gain.
When you consider not just DVR penetration and the shaky revenue streams but a viewer diaspora spreading out to watch video in any number of formats, you wonder how much longer TV networks will be able to resist the old line of thinking that programs and promotions are supposed to be distinct and separate.

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